[Bridge Entrances and Exits]
Bridges can be found everywhere in Japan, spanning rivers, straits, bays, waterways, and various other locations. Most bridges are symmetrical, and most people may not have a clear idea that they have entrances and exits. However, bridges in Japan have clearly defined entrances and exits, and if you know these rules, you can tell which entrance or exit is which, even if you are passing by a bridge without thinking about it.
The name of the bridge is written on a board called a bridge name board, which may be written in kanji (Chinese characters) or in hiragana. Many people probably take pictures of these boards when they visit bridges that are famous as tourist attractions. In fact, these bridge name boards are the key to distinguishing between entrances and exits. If the bridge nameplate is written in kanji, that is the entrance to the bridge, and if it is written in hiragana, it is the exit. In other words, there is always a hiragana bridge nameplate on the other side of the kanji bridge nameplate.
The reason why bridges are designated as entrances and exits is that there are rules for where bridge nameplates should be placed. In the Taisho era (1912-1926), the starting point of all national highways was Tokyo (the road marker built on Nihonbashi), and the one closer to Nihonbashi was called the starting point and the one farther away was called the ending point. However, it seems to be common practice nowadays to designate important cities, cities with populations of 100,000 or more, and cities of international tourism importance as the starting point. The rule is that bridge nameplates in kanji should be placed on the left side of the road when viewed from the starting point, and those in hiragana should be placed on the left side of the road when viewed from the ending point. However, this rule is not the same everywhere in Japan, and there are cases where bridge nameplates are installed based on prefectural government buildings. It is fun to look for the entrances and exits of bridges on your travels and imagine the roads and places that lead to the bridges.
Bridges always connect us to new people, things, and places. Wakato Ohashi Bridge, Sanjo Ohashi Bridge, Nihonbashi Bridge, and Asakusa Bridge. There are bridges near our four showrooms that are symbolic of their cities. We invite you to cross the bridges (only cars are allowed on the Wakato Ohashi Bridge) and visit our showrooms.