Takachiho Railway Bridge

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Takachiho Railway Bridge
Takachiho, Miyazaki, Japan
344 feet high / 105 meters high
385 foot span / 117 meter span


The highest railway bridge in Japan, the Takachiho Gorge bridge has 4 continuous Warren truss spans across its entire length including a central span of 385 feet (117 mtrs). Takachiho Gorge is a region in Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture with more high bridges than any other single location in Japan. These include the Shintotakachiho and Aoba concrete arches, the Unkai, Ryuten and Seiun steel arches and the Kamiiwato concrete beam bridge. All 8 bridges are more than 328 feet (100 mtrs) in height. If you have just one day to visit high bridges in Japan, Takachiho gorge is the place to be!

An unfortunate typhoon in 2005 caused damage to the 31 mile (50 km) rail line, forcing the first 18 miles (29 kms) to close in 2007 with the remaining 13 mile (21 km) stretch to Takachiho closing in late 2008. This became the end of a scenic historical Japanese railway that first opened in 1935. In 2014 the line reopened as a unique attraction where tourists board a smaller train with a "car" or train theme that runs along the original railway route.

There is no other region in Japan that has as many high bridges than the Takachiho Gorge Scenic Area of Miyazaki Prefecture. Within a distance of just 30 kilometers the Gokase and Iwato River canyons are crossed by no less than 15 high bridges.

Several of these spectacular crossings were the highest in Japan including Tensho, Seiun and Unkai Bridges. The Takachiho Railway Bridge is still the highest railway crossing in Japan even if it not longer operates with regular trains.




Image by t-kokudojiku.jp.



A view of the railway bridge printed on a ticket.



There is nothing more fun then walking along the catwalk of an abandoned railway bridge! Image by notch.sakura.ne.jp.


The slender truss members were never designed to handle the weight of full size locomotives but were perfectly suitable for the light rail passenger trains that ran across the bridge for more than a third of a century. Image by 3.air-nifty.com.







Takachiho Railway Bridge satellite image.


Takachiho Railway Bridge location map.