Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.
This time, I toured on a Harley from a friend’s house in Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture to Eitaibashi Bridge in Tokyo.
Eitai Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the Sumida River and is designated as an important cultural property, and has been rebuilt many times since the Edo period. The current bridge was built as a reconstruction project after the Great Kanto Earthquake, and has a special structure called a tied arch.
This time, I would like to introduce the route from Saitama to Tokyo, highlights, parking lots, etc., aiming for Eitai Bridge.
Route from Saitama to Eitaibashi
The distance from Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture to Eitaibashi is about 50 km, or about an hour by car. I set out on my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide.
This bike is a new model released in 2018 and is a convenient bike that can also be used as a tourer. The engine is a powerful 1745cc Milwaukee Eight 107, and the acceleration and sound are pleasant. The design is simple and easy to customize.
The starting point is a friend’s house in Ageo City. From here, I headed to Saitama City using National Route 17 and the Shin-Omiya Bypass. On this day, National Route 17 has relatively little traffic within Saitama Prefecture, making it a comfortable ride. The Shin-Omiya Bypass is maintained like an expressway, and you can ride it at high speeds in some sections. After entering Saitama City, I entered Saitama Prefectural Route 124. From here, transfer to Shuto Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line and enter Tokyo.
The Metropolitan Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line is an expressway that connects Saitama Prefecture and Tokyo, and is famous for its heavy traffic congestion. This time it was the morning of a holiday, but it wasn’t very crowded. However, there were times when the speed slowed down. I took Shuto Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line and got off at Takaracho IC. From here, transfer to the Shuto Expressway Central Loop Line and head towards Koto Ward.
The Shuto Expressway Central Loop Line is an expressway that circumnavigates Tokyo’s 23 wards, and is also known for its scenic views. In particular, you can see landmarks such as the Sky Tree and Rainbow Bridge from Kiyosu Bridge and Kachidoki Bridge, which cross the Sumida River. I got off at Takaracho IC. From here, it’s just a short walk to our destination, Eitai Bridge.
From Takaracho IC, I headed to Eitai Bridge using Route 10 called Eitai Dori. Eitai Dori is a road that runs along the Sumida River, and you can see the waterfront scenery on your left. You can see business districts such as Nihonbashi and Kayabacho on your right. As I was driving along Eitai Street, my destination, Eitai Bridge, came into view.
Highlights of Eitai Bridge
Eitai Bridge is a bridge spanning the Sumida River, connecting Koto Ward and Chuo Ward. Eitai Bridge is said to have been first built in 1698, and has been rebuilt many times since the Edo period. The current bridge was built in 1926 as a reconstruction project after the Great Kanto Earthquake, and was designated as an important cultural property in 2007.
Eitai Bridge is characterized by its special structure called a tied arch. A tied arch is a type of road with a road surface on the underside of the arch, which has a curved surface that rises high above the water. This style was modeled after the Ludendorff Bridge that spanned the Rhine River in Germany, and Eitai Bridge was the first to use it in Japan. Tide arches were designed to avoid blocking the passage of ships, and were chosen because boat traffic was popular on the Sumida River.
Eitai Bridge is called the “gate of the imperial capital” because of its majestic appearance, and it has a presence befitting the entrance to the Sumida River. The poet Hakushu Kitahara wrote in
Okawa Scenery'':The large, helmet-shaped arc, the majestic figure, and the newly renovated Eitai Bridge can be seen before your eyes. It is truly the first steel bridge in Bokusui.”
From Eitai Bridge, you can enjoy the scenery of Sumida River and Tokyo Bay. The view is especially beautiful at dusk and at night, with the illuminated bridges and the Sky Tree creating a magical feeling. Eitai Bridge is a spot where you can see seasonal events such as fireworks and cherry blossoms, so many people visit.
There are many spots around Eitai Bridge where you can feel the history and culture. For example, shopping streets such as Ningyocho and Nihonbashi are lined with long-established stores and traditional crafts that have been around since the Edo period, as well as museums and parks such as the Fukagawa Edo Museum and Sumida River Terrace. There are also other bridges near Eitai Bridge that have been designated as important cultural properties, such as Sumida River Ohashi Bridge and Kiyosu Bridge. By walking across these bridges, you can learn about the history of bridge technology in Tokyo.
Eitaibashi parking lot
I would like to introduce the parking lot at Eitai Bridge. Eitai Bridge is designated as an important cultural property, so there is no parking lot on the bridge. However, there are several paid parking lots around Eitai Bridge.
The number of bikes that can be parked varies depending on the displacement and size of the bike you are riding, so please use the parking lot that matches the size of the bike you are riding.
Also, none of these parking lots require reservations, so you may not be able to enter depending on availability. In that case, try looking for nearby coin parking or Times. However, please note that it is often not possible to park motorcycles at coin parking lots or Times.
This time, I toured on a Harley from Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture to Eitaibashi, Tokyo. Eitai Bridge is a historic bridge that spans the Sumida River and is designated as an important cultural property, and has a special structure called a tide arch. From Eitai Bridge, you can enjoy the scenery of Sumida River and Tokyo Bay. There are also many spots around Eitai Bridge where you can feel history and culture. Eitaibashi’s parking lot is not on the bridge, but there are several paid parking lots nearby.
Through this tour, I was able to rediscover the charm of Tokyo’s bridges, rivers, and cities. When you ride a Harley, you can feel the wind, sounds, smells, etc. with all five senses, and you can see scenery that you would normally overlook. This touring course is recommended for those who like Harleys and those who like Tokyo.
This is an article about _hiroyuki.ta touring on a Harley from Saitama to Eitaibashi in Tokyo. See you soon. bye bye!