Tribute to Toshirou Okamoto Part 3: Azumabashi Bridge

This is the third part in the series dedicated to Toshirou Okamoto.

Azumabashi is a bridge over the Sumida-gawa River that runs through Tokyo Metropolitan Road No. 463, the Azuma-bashi Branch Line of the Ueno-Tsukishima Line (Kaminarimon-dori Street).


Asakusa 1-chome is located at the intersection on the west bank of this bridge, and this bridge is near the so-called Asakusa center, such as Kamiya Bar. The Sumida Riverside area, where Asahi Breweries’ head office is located, is located on the east bank of the river. Incidentally, Sumida Park, famous for its cherry blossoms, is located almost at the southern end of this bridge.

Asakusa Station, a pier of Tokyo Kanko Kisen, is located at the west end of the bridge. There is a route called the Sumida River Line that goes to Hinode Pier of Tokyo Port via Hamarikyu. Therefore, it is also a famous spot as a base for the Sumida-gawa River rafting.



The first bridge was built on October 17, 1774, and was where the ferry called (1773 ) “Takemachi no Watashi” used to be. It was the last of the five bridges built over the Sumida River in the Edo Period, and the petition of Iemon, a merchant of Asakusa Hanakawado, and Genpachi of Shitaya Ryusen-ji Temple was approved by the bakufu, the government of the time, in April, 1769, and the construction was completed five years after the start of the construction.

It was a bridge (Approx. 150 m) in length and (Approx. 6.5 m) in width, and there was a record that toll fees were charged to all passersby except samurai. It is said that on July 18, 1786, when a flood occurred, all of the Eidai-bashi Bridge and the Shin-ohashi Bridge were washed away, and the Ryogoku-bashi Bridge was damaged badly but survived, and the carpenters and (In 1786) magistrates who built the bridge received rewards. It seems that it was rebuilt several times after that. When the bridge was last rebuilt as a wooden bridge in February 1876, it was officially named the present (1876) “Azuma-bashi Bridge”.

In this last wooden bridge, the bridge girder of Senju Ohashi Bridge which flowed out for the first time in the flood in July, 1885 was carried away from the upstream and collided with the bridge pier. Therefore, it was rebuilt as the first iron bridge of Sumida River on December 9, 1887. It was a steel platform bridge, and three bridges, namely a pedestrian bridge, a railway bridge (Tokyo Shiden), and a roadway bridge, were built in parallel.

In 1923, due to the Taisho Kanto Earthquake (1923) on September 1 (Great Kanto Earthquake), wooden bridge plates were burnt down and, after a temporary repair, it was rebuilt to the current bridge in 1931 .


Structural Details of the Bridge:

•Structural type -3 span steel solid Ribbed Tied arch bridge

•Length of bridge: -150.0 m

•Width -20.0 m

•Construction started: June 1929

•Completed: June 1931

•Main contractor: Tokyo City

Source: Wikipedia translated into English from Japanese. The pictures were taken from a pleasure boat on the Sumida River. Sumida River Sightseeing Boat is a recommended sightseeing spot for bridge lovers.



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