Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Nihonbashi bridge (the name translates literally to Japan bridge) in the Chuo district ,Tokyo. Is the bridge over the nihonbashi river. It is point Zero for all roads in Japan, all roads measure distance to this point when indicating distance to Tokyo.
The original wood bridge was built in the edo period in 1603, a reconstruction can be seen on the Edo period museum. A year later it was designated as the origin for the 5 main roads in Japan, becoming one of the most crowded areas of the edo period. In 1911 the current bridge was built in stone as the previous ones made of wood were lost to fire.
In 1963 in a rush to modernization due to the Tokyo Olympics, an elevated highway was built over the bridge, blocking visibility to the sky and losing the previous crowds crossing the bridge. In 1999 the prime minister at that time, Junichiro Koizumi created an initiative to restore the landscape of the bridge by moving the highway underground, but current Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has opposed the plan due to the elevated cost of the project.
The bridge is of a beautiful Art Nouveau design, that is greatly underappreciated, due to the obstructive highway on top, it has been designated an important cultural asset by the Japanese government.