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Updated on September 19, 2018

A Perfect Day in Tokyo

Timeless Serenity With a River Breeze:
Exploring the Bridges Over the Sumida River (Chuo-ku and Koto-ku)

A photo of the Eitai Bridge
The Eitai Bridge from the Sumida-Gawa Terrace

Exit Kachidoki subway station to find before you the magnificent Sumida River and Kachidoki Bridge. The 24-kilometer long Sumida River has 35 bridges built over it. Among them, three bridges―the Kachidoki, Eitai, and Kiyosu―have been designated as Japan’s important cultural properties.

The Kachidoki Bridge, which crosses the lower reaches of the river, was built as a double-leaf bascule bridge that parted in the middle to allow passage of large ships. This elegant scene was seen daily in the past, but the last time it was raised was in 1970. The Kachidoki Bridge Museum, located at the foot of the bridge, houses a collection of valuable items concerning the bridge such as electric motors used to move the bridge and blueprints from the pre-war period when it was designed.

 

Take a walk on the riverside esplanade called the Sumida-Gawa Terrace. After a while, you begin to see the Eitai Bridge and, further upstream, the Kiyosu Bridge. Both bridges were constructed as symbols of restoration of the capital after the devastating earthquake that struck the Kanto region in 1923. Enjoy the contrasts between the two bridges. Whereas the Eitai Bridge is a sturdy arch bridge, the Kiyosu Bridge is a delicate suspension bridge. A leisurely stroll through the Kiyosumi Gardens near the Kiyosu Bridge while appreciating seasonal plants and waterside birds is also recommended.

You can take a water bus to view the bridges up close, or enjoy the fantastic nightscape created by the bridges illuminated after sunset. The place is worth visiting. Go see these historical bridges and savor the slow flow of time and the river.

◎The Kachidoki Bridge is a 5-minute walk from Kachidoki station on the Toei Oedo Line. The Eitai Bridge is an 8-minute walk from Monzen-nakacho station on the Toei Oedo Line and Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. The Kiyosu Bridge is a 7-minute walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa station on the Toei Oedo Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line.

[Kachidoki Bridge Museum]
Phone: 03-3543-5672. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
[Kiyosumi Gardens]
Phone: 03-3641-5892. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Last entry is 4:30 p.m.). General admission: 150 yen, Seniors 65 and over: 70 yen.

A photo of the Kiyosumi Gardens
The Kiyosumi Gardens with higanbana(cluster amaryllis) in bloom

 

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