This terrifying bridge has featured on the Only In Japan YouTube channel before. (Watch it here). I’d even looked it up on a maps app to see where it was in the past. However, that had all been long forgotten when I boarded a bus at Matsue to go to Sakaiminato Station which was a much quicker and easier option than taking the train. To my surprise there was actually commentary on the bus in Japanese, English and Chinese about certain viewpoints along the way and one of the nuggets of information was about a bridge.
That bridge just happened to be the “roller coaster bridge” I’d heard about which is officially known as Eshima Ohashi Bridge. It really is a super steep slope and almost looks like it’s a ramp going up to the sky. Ideally, I’d have loved to photograph it from a few angles and ride up to the top of it. Walking to the top via the pedestrian footpaths would have been just as satisfying but ultimately (without sufficient prior warning that the bridge was part of my route) I could only experience taking a bus over it which is why there are no photographs on here other than the stock one I nicked off the internet and the one of the poster on the bus (below) which I noticed later on in the journey.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge is 1,446 metres long and straddles Shimane and Tottori prefectures. The gradient of the slope on the former is 6.1% whilst it’s 5.1% on the Tottori side. It probably comes as no surprise that the bridge needed to be high in the centre to allow large ships to pass under.
The main reason I wanted to go to Sakaiminato was because of the stations interesting appearance which somewhat resembles a spaceport with its glistening aluminium cylindrical exterior design on the north side. The opposite side is quite original too.
This science-fiction style of architecture is all part of the fabric for this fairly unique place which is also famous for Japanese manga not that I knew about that until my arrival early in the morning. The main street is like a museum of supernatural monsters (Yokai)!
Sakaiminato was the hometown of Japanese manga artist and historian Shigeru Mizuki who passed away in 2015. His legacy lives on though through his creations which inhabit the nearby streets. One of the displays is of a World Yokai Summit being held where the Yokai are discussing world peace and ways to further develop it as a wonderful town of ghosts and monsters. OK then.
Both the train and the waiting room (below) are also plastered with Yokai themed animation.
Across the road was a free foot-bath (below) as there is outside Atami Station in Shizuoka. It would’ve been nice to dip my feet in but I didn’t have a towel so had to settle for just taking a photograph! A poor consolation in all honesty!!
From Sakaiminato Station I then took a little local bus (covered in Yokai of course!) to my next destination. It took a long time to get there having covered the area fairly extensively but it was only 100 yen and still saved time and energy.
Eventually after winding our way round just about every street in the area (as well as Yonago Airport!) I got out near Boo Foo Woo (above) and walked for a bit to see Hotel Areaone Sakaiminato Marina (3268 Niiyacho, Sakaiminato-shi). With its square observatory, this run-down hotel (below) has an interesting design and stands out as there really is not much else in this area which is very windy due to the sea breeze coming from across the road.
It’s only a 15 minute walk from that hotel to the nearest station but along the way I found this vaguely interesting temple (below) with a couple of dragon statues in the foreground of it.
Nakahama is a fairly basic unmanned station (below) but the manga theme subtly continues by way of the station sign (I assume the whole Sakai Line has been decorated in similar fashion) before the not-so-subtle train came which was painted inside and out with Japanese animation relating to monsters and ghosts.
Before moving on to my main destination of Tottori, there was a short break at Yonago Station (below which allowed me to finally get some food and have a brief look round the outside which had a couple of interesting-looking structures.
Click here to read ‘If You’re Fond Of Sand Dunes……Then Tottori Is The Place For You!’