Friday, April 1, 2016

Saikai Bridge: Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture

Saikai Bridge is a fixed brace arch bridge 244 meters tall and 1,927 meters in length. The bridge was completed in 1955.  Today it has a companion bridge, the Shin (new) Saikai Bridge which was completed in 2006.

The new bridge opened across this channel and has gained enormous popularity which I had to check out for myself.  Unfortunately I didn't do my homework before visiting otherwise I would have gone to the footbridge built under the bridge which can be accessed for free.  From the footbridge you can enjoy the scenery and also view the powerful currents from the 60cm diameter glass windows in the floor of the observation area.  I guess these photos will just have to wait till my next visit!

Hario Straits is one of Japan's three fastest flowing currents and is famous for its whirlpools created by the seawater from the expansive Omura Bay rushing through the narrow strait during the changing tides.  The rate of the whirlpools increases particularly at springtime due to the great difference between the tides at this time of year.

Out of interest, nearby are the three Hario Wireless Towers, which transmitted the coded message that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor and triggered the Pacific War on December 7, 1941.  They still can be seen and although they still work today they are not very powerful compared to their capacity during the WW2 period whereby the were used because of their operational efficiency and strength.

Check out Saikai Bridge here on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The new Bridge

Swirling waters below

Famous for its rapid currents below

From my previous post, I promised that I would return to the Saikai Bridge and witness the fast flowing waters below after doing my homework and finding the best place to access the attractions in the area.  I found out that the best viewing point is from the old bridge from the normal road and not the new bridge which can only be accessed from the toll road.

Here are some more photos from the site seen from a different angle that those above from my original trip:  Click on the photos below to enlarge

Nicely mapped out


The new bridge

My son enjoyed the view

Birdseye view

The infamous Hario Towers

The old bridge


Please click on the videos below to see more about the Saikai Bridge Nagasaki: