Rainbow Bridge is another walk in Tokyo that I think is fantastic. From end to end it should take no more than one hour at a fairly leisurely pace and is extremely easy, nothing difficult about it at all. The views from the bridge on the city side are absolutely amazing, they can’t be beaten. On a fine day, they just might take your breath away! I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve done this walk, but I still love doing it.
From the Shibaura side you enter a reception-like area (drink machines and toilets). Use the elevator to get up to the lower deck. The bridge has two walkways, one on the north side and one on the south. The north side is probably more interesting for the city views it offers, but from the south side on a very fine day you can see Mt. Fuji.
Rainbow Bridge has several excellent observation platforms from which to enjoy the views, take pictures or just sit and enjoy a break. In the middle of the bridge they are fenced for obvious reasons, but on the platforms there is always a slot to stick your camera. The lower ends bridge are more open and taking pictures from them is no problem, very unobstructed.
Once you finish the walk over the bridge you can enjoy yourself in Odaiba, with all it has to offer – museums, sightseeing, shopping and eating. There is so much over there with the Gundam robot and its cafe, the Maritime Museum, the State of Liberty and lots more.
On the South side
1) Hama-rikyu Gardens (but only if you have very good eyes or a telescope)
3) the old Kanebo building;
4) Tokyo Skytree;
5) Tokyo Tower, and;
6) that fantastic Tokyo skyline.
On the North side
1) Fuji Television;
2) Mount Fuji
3) the two Odaiba islands, and;
4) the beachfront buildings of Odaiba.
1) Fantastic walk that won’t take up all day;
2) Lots of stuff to see on your way over to Odaiba;
3) It’s easy and flat (well, the bridge does gently slope up and down on either side), and;
4) it’s completely free!
1) The north side of the bridge has only a few viewing platforms/observation decks;
2) The north doesn’t have a great amount to see, basically only Odaiba, the islands, Mt. Fuji and the dock area at Shinagawa;
3) Some buildings have appeared between Mount Fuji and the bridge, so you might find the view slightly obstructed;
4) In summer it can get frightfully hot, and in winter you can encounter some extreme cold.
The easiest way to get there for most people will be to get the Yamanote line to Shinbashi Station, then get the Yurikamome train from Shinbashi to Shibaura-Futou. After that it is a very pleasant 10 minute walk to the bridge.
Here is a Google map to give you an idea:
Summer (April to October) from 9am to 9pm
Winter (November to March) from 10am to 6pm
The bridge is closed on the third Monday of every month.
The bridge itself it free, but the Yurikamome train from Shinbashi to Shibaura-Futou costs 250 yen.
Anytime is great for this walk, however doing it in winter can be extremely cold and windy which might make it quite unpleasant (but those fantastic winter skies can make the views all that much better).
Rainbow Bridge is a suspension bridge that has two decks (upper and lower) and connects northern Tokyo Bay between Shibaura Pier and Odaiba, in Minato ward, Tokyo. Construction began in 1987 and was completed in 1993. The main bridge is 798 metres long with the main span being 570. Officially it is called the, “Shuto Expressway No. 11 Daiba Route – Port of Tokyo Connector Bridge”, however the common name, “Rainbow Bridge”, was decided by the public.
The towers that support the bridge are white, designed to harmonize with the skyline of central Tokyo as seen from Odaiba. There are lamps placed on the wires supporting the bridge, which are illuminated into three different colors, red, white and green every night using solar energy obtained during the day.
Bicycles on Rainbow Bridge
You can take your bicycle over Rainbow Bridge, but you can`t ride it across, you have to walk it across. When you arrive, you`ll see a reception office at either end of the bridge. From there the staff will take some identification details from you as well as giving you a skateboard-like contraption that you attach to the rear wheels of your bike. Return it to office when you reach the other side. Bicycle traffic is strictly one-way. If you are going from Shibaura to Odaiba you be taking the south side. From Odaiba to Shibaura you’ll be taking the north side.
You can see the Rainbow Bridge website here. There is a English link on that site, but it only takes you to the company page.
If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy:
Imperial Palace – you won’t see the Emperor but you see some of where he lives
Kyu-Furukawa Gardens – a little piece of old England in Tokyo with a great rose garden
Tokorozawa Aviation Museum – learn about the history of flight in Japan
Tokyo Gate Bridge – another great bridge walk with some great city views
Zojoji – one of the most popular temples in the city with close ties to the Shoguns