Kachidoki Bridge

The wonderful Kachidoki Bridge !

A suspension bridge made with all-Japanese technique.

There is a rare drawbridge in the center of Tokyo that was completed in 1940, a time when most bridges of its kind were constructed by foreign engineers. The Kachidoki Bridge was unique in that it was designed and constructed solely by Japanese engineers.

Running from the Ginza-Tsukiji area towards Tsukishima-Toyosu, the bridge sees heavy trafficked but thanks to the drawbridge design in between arches large vessels can pass through easily .Until about 1953 ships were only able to pass around five times in a day, and this led to large ships moving to other more easily navigable waterways. This greatly decreased the amount of ships using the Kachidoki Bridge, and as a waterway it subsequently fell into obsolescence. Power was disconnected in 1980 but the four huts serve as a reminder of the bridge’s past function.

It is not widely known but the Kachidoki Bridge utilized the Tokyo municipal railway when it was opened and in order to strengthen and reinforce the bridge in light of the increased volume of traffic it was reinforced with many rivets. While many bridges employ the use of rivets, the Kachidoki Bridge possesses a comparatively overwhelming number. The number of rivets is truly astonishing, When you see the bridge lit up at night, the arches resemble a pair of glass or the eyes of a Jomon period figurine – it is a one of kind bridge. Bridges like the Kachidoki Bridge are a rarity nowadays and each time I cross it I am fascinated by its many details.