First and Start, Senju-Ohashi Bridge


Senju-Ohashi is first bridge of Sumida River.
It was built in 1594 (Before Edo Period). Place was 200m upper stream from now it is.
It was simply called “Ohashi (means big bridge)” at that time.
Tokugawa Shogunate(1601-1867) banned to build bridges except Ohashi for defense of Edo.
But traffic became heavy. In addition, Great Fire of Meireki occurred in 1657.
As a result, for traffic and safety, Ryogoku Bridge was built. It was second bridge of Sumida River.
After construction of Ryogoku Bridge, this bridge was called as Senju-Ohashi.

A famous Japanese Ukiyoe artist Utagawa(or Ando) Hiroshige (1797-1858) drew this bridge.
I’ll introduce one of them.
Senju Great Bridge, No. 103 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Brooklyn Museum of Art

Senju-Ohashi was reconstructed several times.
Present bridge was built in 1927.
The oldest tied arch bridge in Japan.

Here is Senju-Ohashi. This road is Mito Kaido. It was subroute of the Edo Five Routes. It was built to connect from Edo and Mito now located Ibaraki Prefecture. It was prolonged and replaced National Route 4. It ties from Chuo-Ku, Tokyo to Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture. It became the longest national route in Japan (887.1 km).
That’s why, traffic is heavy.
Now here is Arakawa-Ku side, and direction is toward Aomori. To go opposite direction, cars have to pass new bridge next to old Senju-Ohashi.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Sign says Senju-Ohashi. But on the bridge, there is just “Ohashi”. It is a memory of the past.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

On the bridge. There is Senju Water Pipe on the left. This pipe carry water for industry.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

I arrived opposite, Adachi-Ku side.
There was memorial that says “Here is starting point of “Oku no Hosomichi”.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Matsuo Basho (1644–1694) is famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.
In 1689, he traveled around Japan and left a traveler’s journal “Oku no Hosomichi”. Title means “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”.
This is his route.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Distance was about 2400km. It is said that he walked it about 150 days. And he started his travel when 45 years old. This is amazing!

The beginning of “Oku no Hosomichi” is really beautiful. I love it!  All of Japanese people learn this at school.
If you have interest, please check Wikipedia “Oku no Hosomichi“.

Under the bridge.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Thee were 3 buoys. They are tied with former wooden bridge under water.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

There were a lot of information panels. Here is small museum. Small bridge is Senju-kohasi,means Senju small bridge.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

This is Sankin-kotai scene of daimyo of Sendai Domain Date Yoshikuni(1825 – 1874) .
Senju was Shukuba-machi (means Staying place for traveler).
In 1842 Daimyo Date Yoshikuni and his vassal stayed at Senju.
Sankin-kotai is a system of Tokugawa Shogunate. Daimyo had to come to Edo and back to their countries.
For more information Wikipedia Sankin-kotai

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Senju-Ohashi 1848.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Other information and picture.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan
Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroshige’s work(right) and Hokusai’s work(left).

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

I took Senju-Ohashi from riverside. Water pipe disturbs…

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

In addition, there was another pipe(?)

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Anyway to take Senju-ohashi is impossible.
So I tried to take atmosphere of around Senju-Ohashi.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

There were many residence.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

This day was quiet. Reflection was beautiful.
I can imagine people’s calm life with Sumida River.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Close up. But Senju-Ohashi was backdrop of pipes.
It was a little pity. But I could enjoy beautiful scenery.

Senju-Ohashi Bridge, Sumida River, Tokyo, Japan

Senju-ohashi is first bridge of Sumida River and starting point of Oku no hosomichi.
Please enjoy history with beautiful scenery!!

Information
Length:502.5m
Built:1927
Technique: steel tied arch bridge
Nearest Station:Senju-Ohashi Station / Keisei Line
Manager:Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Reference of information :
“Tokyo Pocket Map of Bridges Sumida river”,2013, Tokyo Metropolitan Public Corporation for Road Improvement and Management

Other References
Senju-Ohashi Bridge Wikipedia (Japanese)
Oku no Hosomichi Wikipedia (English)
Sankin-kotai Wikipedia (English)

Related Category : Bridges at Sumida River

Related Article: Decorated with Ryogoku Culture, Ryogokubashi Bridge

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