Kawazu Nanadaru Loop Bridge
An ingenious solution to a tricky engineering problem, this spiraling bridge takes drivers for a dizzying spin.
This corkscrew bridge drives locals loopy in the center of Japan’s scenic Izu Peninsula. Completed in 1982 to cover terrain too steep for a conventional road, the bridge is an intriguing landmark on the route from Tokyo to the hot-spring resorts in the nearby city of Shimoda. It rises among the trees like some sort of great coiled snake.
The structure is comprised of three supports that look suspiciously like giant painters’ trestles. It rotates traffic through 720 degrees and lifts or drops them 147 feet (45 meters). The speed limit on this serpentine road is only 18 miles per hour (30 kilometers per hour), which helps to prolong the dizzying views of Izu’s volcanic scenery.
Travelers with more time on their hands can spin off the highway here (although one hopes not literally) to investigate a handful of waterfalls and the delightful Kawazu Village in the shadow of the bridge. There’s a car park underneath the center of the bridge’s loops for those wishing to take photographs, or play dizzy dinosaurs.
Know Before You Go
Take caution while driving on the bridge and be sure to follow the speed limit!
The village of Kawazu is known for its early-blooming cherry blossom trees, making late March or early April a perfect time to visit.
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