Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Exhibition Center      橋の科学館

Where does one go to learn about the construction of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and other world renown bridges?  None other than the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Exhibition Center located roughly 20 minutes to the west of Kobe by train.

With the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, finally completed in 1998, the twelve year project placed the bridge on the map as having the world's longest span of any suspension bridge at 1,991 meters (6,532 feet).  At a cost of 500 billion yen ($6 billion) to make, the six lane bridge is used by approximately 23,000 cars per day.

Highlighting the bridge's history and design, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Exhibition Center features a kids corner, 3D theater, and a wind tunnel simulator, in addition to the numerous visuals on display.  As the center is closed for most of the year on Monday, it is recommended to visit on Tuesday - Sunday to avoid any disappointment.

As one of the many landmarks in Kansai, I personally suggest you visit the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge during the late evening hours (as seen in the picture above) to capture its true beauty.


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