The Construction of Rainbow Bridge 3: Main Tower

The main tower and side tower construction

Out of aesthetic considerations, the main tower was uniquely built to be inconspicuous on the horizon from the surface of the Metropolitan Expressway up to the uppermost part[2].

Cable construction

First, a passage for work was built, then cables were extended one after another[2].

Officially called the “Shuto Expressway No. 11 Daiba Route – Port of Tokyo Connector Bridge,” the name “Rainbow Bridge” was decided by the public[3]. The towers supporting the bridge are white in colour, designed to harmonize with the skyline of central Tokyo seen from Odaiba. There are lamps placed on the wires supporting the bridge, which are illuminated into three different colours, red, white and green every night using solar energy obtained during the day. The bridge can be accessed by foot from Tamachi Station (JR East) or Shibaura-futō Station (Yurikamome) on the mainland side.

The contractor of the Rainbow Bridge is Kawasaki Heavy Industries[1]. As a brief introduction to this company, it all started with Shozo Kawasaki, the founder who opened Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard in Tokyo[1]. Born in Kagoshima to a kimono merchant, Shozo Kawasaki became a tradesman at the age of 17 in Nagasaki, the only place in Japan then open to the West. He started a shipping business in Osaka at 27, which failed when his cargo ship sank during a storm. In 1869, he joined a company handling sugar from Ryukyu (currently Okinawa Prefecture), established by a Kagoshima samurai, and in 1893, researched Ryukyu sugar and sea routes to Ryukyu at the request of the Ministry of Finance. In 1894, he was appointed the executive vice president of Japan Mail Steam-Powered Shipping Company and succeeded in opening a sea route to Ryukyu and transporting sugar to mainland Japan.


[1]Yamazaki, K., Izumi, K. and Ogihara, M. “The Rainbow Bridge, Japan.” Structural Engineering International, v. 4, n. 4 (1994), 226-228.

[2]Metropolitan Expressway Company Limited. “Rainbow Bridge.” Driving Guide, (1995), 10-15.

[3]Tokyo Bureau Of Port and Harbour. Rainbow Bridge, (2015), 1-3.

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