The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge: A Journey Above the Sea


Welcome to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, a marvel of modern engineering and the world’s longest suspension bridge. Nestled in the city of Akashi and extending to Awaji Island, this bridge is a testament to Japan’s technological prowess. As you embark on this journey with us, you’ll discover the beauty and grandeur of the Bridge and its surroundings, including the vibrant city of Kobe. So, let’s dive into the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour and explore this magnificent structure together.

A stunning view of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge, a must-see on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour.

The Bridge Tour

Setting off on the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge tour is an adventure that begins even before you set foot on the bridge. The process to join the tour is quite simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. You can apply for the tour through two websites: “JALAN” and “JTB“.

However, it’s important to note that the JALAN website is only available in Japanese. If you’re not fluent in Japanese, you might find the JTB website more user-friendly as it’s available in both Japanese and English. But be aware, the English version of the JTB site has been known to display incorrect months for booking due to some technical glitches. So, keep a close eye on the details when you’re making your booking to ensure you’ve selected the correct dates.

Once you’ve chosen a date, it’s time to apply. After you’ve applied, you’ll receive a confirmation of your reservation. Make sure to check all the details and keep this confirmation safe – you’ll need it on the day of the tour.

From the moment you step onto the bridge, you’re taken on a journey through areas usually restricted to the public. You’ll walk more than 2km and climb up approximately 170 steps to reach the top of the tower, learning about the bridge’s design and construction along the way. Did you know that the bridge can expand and contract up to 2 meters in a single day due to temperature changes?

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Book your bridge tour at JTB.

Getting Onto the Bridge Tour

Your journey begins at the Awaji Island side Anchorage of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, located at “Michi no Eki Awaji” (Roadside Station Awaji, which means a highway rest area). You have a few options to reach the meeting place:

  1. By Ferry and Bus: You can take a ferry from Akashi Port to Iwaya Port by Awaji Jenova Line. From Iwaya Port, a sightseeing bus is available to take you to the meeting place. Please check the bus operation days and times in advance. Here are the relevant timetables:
  2. By Taxi: If you prefer a more direct route, you can take a taxi from Maiko Station or Akashi Station to the meeting place. This might be a more expensive option, but it could be more convenient if you’re carrying heavy luggage or if you’re traveling in a group.
  3. By Car Rental (recommended): This option not only allows you to explore other attractions in the area at your own pace, but it also solves the potential difficulty of finding a taxi after the bridge tour at a highway rest area. Car rental services gives you the flexibility to explore other attractions in the area before or after your bridge tour.

Please remember to plan your journey in advance to ensure a smooth start to your tour.

Tour meeting place address:
1873-1 Iwaya, Awaji, Hyogo 〒656-2401, Japan

The View from the Bridge

A panoramic view of Kobe city from the top of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge tower, a highlight of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour.
View of Kobe from the top of the tower

Once you reach the top of the tower, you’re rewarded with a breathtaking view. The city of Kobe on one side, Awaji Island on the other, and the vast expanse of the Akashi Strait below. It’s a sight to behold, a moment to capture not just with your camera, but also with your heart. Standing there, you can’t help but marvel at the beauty of nature and the ingenuity of human engineering.

A picturesque view of Awaji Island from the top of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge tower, a beautiful sight to behold during the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour.
View of Awaji Island from the top of the tower
A mystical view of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge enveloped in fog, as seen from the top of the tower, adding a touch of mystery to your Akashi Kaikyo Bridge Tour.
In the fog

The Bridge Exhibition Center

For those with a keen interest in the technical marvels of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the Bridge Exhibition Center is an essential stop. The Exhibition Center located at Kobe side of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. This center offers a deep dive into the bridge’s construction and engineering, complete with demonstrations of its resilience against earthquakes and high winds. It’s a captivating exploration of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge’s architectural brilliance.

Reaching the Bridge Exhibition Center is straightforward. Hop on the JR Sanyo Line and alight at Maiko Station. A brief walk from the station will bring you to the center.

If your journey begins in Kobe, anticipate a 20-minute train ride to Maiko Station. For those starting in Himeji, the train ride will be approximately 40 minutes. Upon arrival at Maiko Station, signage directing you to the Bridge will guide you to the Exhibition Center, nestled near the bridge’s base. The center welcomes visitors from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, with the last admission at 4:30 PM.

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4-114 Higashimaikocho, Tarumi Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 〒655-0047, Japan

Local Attractions

After your tour of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and The Bridge Exhibition Center, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local area. A prime highlight is Maiko Park, the first prefectural urban park in Hyogo, known for its exotic atmosphere and historical significance. The park is home to Maiko Beach, a sandy seashore adorned with pine trees that has been a source of poetic inspiration for years.

One of the highlights is the Maiko Marine Promenade. This circuit-style promenade on the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge offers a unique perspective of the bridge and the surrounding area. Situated approximately 47 meters above the sea and 150 meters above the ground, it stretches for approximately 317 meters over the Akashi Strait.

Maiko Marine Promenade
Maiko Marine Promenade

Former Residence of the Kinoshita Family This historic residence offers a glimpse into the past. The beautifully preserved house and garden provide a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll.

Former Residence of the Kinoshita Family

Former Residence of Sanji Muto (Former “Kanebo Maiko Club”) Another historic residence in the park, this house was once the home of Sanji Muto, the founder of the Kanebo company. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the history of the area.

Former Residence of Sanji Muto
Former Residence of Sanji Muto

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (Ijokaku) This memorial hall is dedicated to Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary and political leader. It’s a must-visit for history buffs.

Sun Yat sen Memorial Hall Ijokaku
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Dream Lens Commemorating the 5th anniversary of Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge and honoring Mayor Haraguchi’s pivotal role in its half-century construction. It’s a great spot for taking memorable photos.

Dream Lens
Dream Lens Monument

Maiko Park Pine Forest This lush pine forest provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing walk or a picnic.

Maiko Park Pine Forest
Maiko Park Pine Forest

To get to Maiko Park, take the JR Kobe Line to Maiko Station or the Sanyo Electric Railway to Maiko Park Station. From there, it’s a short walk to the park. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. all year round, except from December 29th to December 31st.

Remember, exploring the local attractions is an integral part of the travel experience. So, after your Bridge tour, take the time to discover the gems that Maiko Park has to offer.

Practical Information

The best time to visit the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is during the bridge tour season, which runs from April to November. The tour is held on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays. Tickets can be booked online, and it’s recommended to book early as the number of participants is limited.


The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is more than just a bridge; it’s a testament to human ingenuity and a symbol of resilience. Whether you’re an engineering enthusiast or a traveler seeking unique experiences, a visit to the Bridge is sure to leave you with lasting memories. So why wait? Embark on this journey and experience it for yourself!

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