Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge (An Incredible Feat Of Engineering And Beauty)

Tokyo is recognized all over the world for its many attractions, making it one of the must-see destinations on many people’s bucket lists. The Rainbow Bridge on Tokyo Bay is one such wonder that draws people into Tokyo to admire its engineering and picturesque structure. 

The Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo not only serves as a bridge between Tokyo and Odaiba, but it serves as a beautiful piece of architecture to be admired.

Whether you want to visit the bridge itself or appreciate it from afar, it’s a destination you can’t afford to miss when visiting Tokyo

About The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge has been open for tourists and locals alike since 1993. It took six years for the structure to be completed, and it was built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

The bridge is formally known as Shuto Expressway No. 11 Daiba Route – Port of Tokyo Connector Bridge, but has been shortened simply to the Rainbow Bridge. 

The bridge consists of two stories, with multiple forms of transportation being supported. There is even a pedestrian walkway for those who wish to make the journey from one end to the other on foot. Of course, there is also an area for cars to pass in both directions. 

One of the many unique features of the bridge is the Yurikamome Line, which is a transit service that allows you to travel across the bridge via train. The reason it’s unique is because the transportation method doesn’t require a driver and is automated. 

Yurikamome Line Information

The Bridge At Night 

This famous bridge gets its namesake for the way it gets illuminated in December and January. During these months, rainbow lights are turned on at night to give the bridge a beautiful rainbow hue. This reflects beautifully off of the water and draws in big, adoring crowds every year. 

Throughout the rest of the year, numerous parts of the bridge are illuminated in different colors as soon as the sun goes down.

The bridge’s main tower will typically change into different shades of white depending on the time of year, while the cables that suspend the bridge are more colorful throughout the year. 

The colors will also sometimes correspond with special occasions or on days of significance. For example, the bridge was lit up with bright red lights during the times when COVID-19 was the worst in Japan. 

The Bridge’s Observation Decks

Along the pedestrian walkways, there are numerous observation decks where you can get a glimpse at your surroundings from a higher vantage point. You get a really amazing perspective of Tokyo Bay and the city at large. 

On especially clear days, you may even be able to see a hint of Mount Fuji from the observation deck on the south side of the bridge. 

When at the observation deck on the north side of the bridge, you can see some very famous Tokyo landmarks including the Tokyo Tower and part of the Tokyo harbor. 

Fireworks Displays

As if the lights changing color on the Rainbow Bridge weren’t fascinating enough, there are fireworks shows (hanabi) held around the bridge during the month of December, as well as on Rainbow Bridge Day, which falls on August 26th. The fireworks can be seen each Saturday in December at 7 p.m.

Where To See The Bridge

Apart from going to the bridge itself, there are many vantage points to visit that allow you to see the bridge in its entirety from an entirely unique perspective. 

Fuji TV Building

There is an observation deck known as the Hachimata Spherical Observation Room on the 25th floor of the well-known Fuji TV Building.

There is a cost associated with getting into the room, but it’s absolutely worth it. If you have an opportunity to view the bridge from the observation deck at night or during a fireworks show, it’ll be an unforgettable experience. 

Rainbow Bridge Seen From The Fuji TV Building

Shibaura South Wharf Park

You won’t be high up when viewing the Rainbow Bridge from this park, but you’ll get to watch some of the boats that pass under the bridge from this area.

You will still get a magnificent view of the bright lights at night as well. 

Looking Out From Shibaura Pier To The Rainbow Bridge

Walking Across The Bridge

If you hope to walk the entire length of the Rainbow Bridge, you can do so in about a half-hour. That being said, the observation decks are worth stopping at while you make your journey across the bridge

If you do want to take your time crossing the bridge and hope to stop for a break, there are some benches throughout the pedestrian area for you to sit and take in your surroundings. 

The walkway is sometimes closed during times of heavy wind, and there are certain hours that the walkway stays open to ensure pedestrian safety.

From April to October, the walkway is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and in the remaining months, it is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Getting To The Rainbow Bridge

If you are traveling through Tokyo by train, you can get off at either the Odaiba-Kaihinkoen or Shibaura-Futo station if you are on the Yurikamome train line. 

Rainbow Bridge Location Via Google Maps

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay is a bustling part of the greater region of Tokyo in Japan, and it is home to some of Tokyo’s industrialized sectors.

It used to be referred to as Edo Bay, back when Tokyo was known as Edo. The water in the bay comes from the Pacific Ocean. 

Tokyo Bay And Rainbow Bridge

There are also various small islands throughout Tokyo Bay, and some of the surrounding regions to Tokyo’s Bay large bay includes Chiba Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture. In the past, the area served as a port as well as a hub for fishing.

However, the buildup of the area caused a lot of the fishing potential to diminish over time. 

Odaiba 

Odaiba is a very modern island for Japan. It’s also not a naturally occurring island; it was constructed towards the end of the Edo period in Japan.

Odaiba Aerial View

Rainbow Bridge Official Website Via Go Tokyo

It started as a part of Tokyo, but Tokyo’s expansion was too much for one city to handle, causing it to branch off into different cities or areas.

A Virtual Walk Across Rainbow Bridge

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.