The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge. Taken from Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

The Rainbow Bridge connects Tokyo with the Odaiba island over the Tokyo Bay in Japan. It was opened in 1993 after six years of construction works. The bridge is altogether 798 meters long with a main span of 580 meters. Its towers are illuminated in the night with changing colors: white, red, and green.

Odaiba is an artificial island in Tokyo Bay constructed in the mid-20th century for defense purposes. It was supposed to stop foreign forces from invading and further dominate Japan. The island was originally called Daiba, which means “fortification” in Japanese. Until that time, the Japanese managed to isolate themselves from any external influence. On the other hand, however, the Americans and other ‘Western’ nations were keen to boost trade relations with Asia. They pressured the Japanese ports to open for the international sea trade. Soon, Japan ended its isolationist foreign policy.

In the 20th century, as Tokyo’s population grew, there was a need for more land to accommodate the city’s expanding infrastructure. In the 1960s, the Japanese government began a massive land reclamation project, which involved dredging the bay and using the resulting landfill to create new land for development. Odaiba was one of the sites selected for this project, and construction of the island began in the 1980s. The island was designed to be a modern, high-tech district, featuring futuristic buildings, shopping malls, and entertainment facilities. The redevelopment of the island was, however, not enough to attract people and companies to this place. It all changed as an alternative, and shorter route (including a railway connection,¬†from Tokyo) was built in 2002. Odaiba turned to a seaport district. Today, it is mainly a leisure, commercial, and residential center.

Just approaching the bridge in the Odaiba direction. Taken from the Yurikamome train (a fully automated train with no drivers onboard). The buildings you can see on the upper photo, are the same you can see on the panorama behind the bridge.

Basically, we were hunting the sunset. It was, however, an excellent occasion to shoot some photos of the bridge itself.


The Rainbow Bridge