The Rainbow Bridge: Background information when reading Blue Light Yokohama

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Blue Light Yokohama

by Nicolas Obregon

Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon
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  • Published:
    Mar 2017, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Gary Presley

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Beyond the Book:
The Rainbow Bridge

Print Review

Rainbow BridgeThe Rainbow Bridge spanning Tokyo Bay plays a fundamental role in Blue Light Yokohama. It becomes almost a character, as if the 800 meters (2,625 feet) spanning Tokyo's Shibaura Pier to Odaiba's waterfront is a metaphor for crossing the chasm between good (the enforcement of the law) and evil (murder).

But the double-deck Rainbow Bridge is as real as the steel used in its construction in 1993 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Kawasaki's roots can be traced back to 1878, when Shozo Kawasaki established Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo.

In a suspension bridge towers provide lift points for the roadway, spanning whatever chasm must be crossed. Cables hang from the towers, supporting the roadway. Historians suggest the Chinese had crude forms of suspension bridges as early as the eighth century. The Rainbow Bridge, with its suspension towers restricted in height to accommodate the flight patterns of nearby Haneda Airport, also incorporates a pedestrian walkway. It's about a 30-minute walk with lighting that changes according to the seasons. The rainbow lights, used during holiday seasons, are the genesis for its name. Pedestrians get views of the harbor, of course, and of Mount Fuji, perhaps one of the most famous mountains in the world.

Coincidentally, while the Rainbow Bridge is notable for its lights and its views of Tokyo and Mount Fuji, Japan is also home to the bridge with the longest span between towers. It's the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge - the Pearl Bridge - linking the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island has three spans. The central span is 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) and the two other sections are each 960 meters (3,150 feet), for a total length of 3,911 meters (12,831 feet).

Rainbow Bridge

Article by Gary Presley

This article is from the May 3, 2017 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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