Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Kuramae Bridge across the Sumida River (1)

June 2011 (35.701 Degrees, 139.793 Degrees) Kuramae Bridge
Just upstream of the Water Line Bridge is the golden, three span Kuramae deck arch bridge. All the bridges in this area go under the Metropolitan Expressway along the river's east bank. Perhaps infrastructure is such a vital part of Tokyo's survival that no one minds having an viaduct blocking their view of the river.

The Kuramae Bridge was built in 1927 and is 570 ft long and 70 ft wide. It includes six traffic lanes and wide sidewalks. Big stone piers support the arches and the bridge decks. The book "The Sumida Crisscross" writes about nostalgic lamp posts, the granite piers, and alcoves on the bridge illustrated with drawings of Sumo wrestlers. The Sumo Arena is just a quarter mile south by the Sobu Rail Bridge. The author goes on to say that the massive bridge structure overwhelms the viewer. To my eye the bridge appears quite light and attractive and I particularly like the stone piers. I read that the bridge was painted the color of golden ears of rice because the west side of the Kuramae Bridge was the location of the Asakusa rice granaries of the Tokugawa shogunate.

After the devastating 1923 earthquake, mayor Goto Shimpei rebuilt this part of Tokyo with new parks and with iron and steel bridges. The bridges included the Kototoi (1928), the Azuma (1931), the Komagata (1927), the Kiyosiu (1928), and the Kuramae. The problem was that the former bridges were made of timber and caught fire after the earthquake. To protect Tokyo from future disasters, the use of timber structures was discouraged.
Creative Commons License
Tokyo, Japan's Bridges: Kuramae Bridge across the Sumida River (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

No comments:

Post a Comment