The Very Red Zaobashi Suspension Bridge in Wakayama Prefecture
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Stroll a father and daughter cross the Zaobashi Bridge over the Aridagawa River Wakayama Prefecture, Japan -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Stroll
a father and daughter cross the Zaobashi Bridge over the Aridagawa River
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

On the way to Pierre Nadeau's sword smithy in May, we came across the photogenic Zaobashi Bridge (蔵王橋) in the rural mountains of Aridagawacho City, in Wakayama Prefecture.

It's a short (160m) bare suspension bridge made of steel... steel grid plates that form the surface of the bridge, bolted on top of simple steel I-beams suspended with steel cables to even bigger steel cables draped over two steel towers. It makes it quite easy to see how all the parts conspire against gravity. It's also photogenic. The people in the photo above were the only ones to stop by while we were there.

No one was around when we had first arrived, so I took the opportunity to get a straight-down shot with no one on it....

desktop background image of the Zaobashi Bridge (蔵王橋) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan -- Slightly Stylized -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Slightly Stylized
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I was using my Nikkor 300mm f/2 that I had just picked up the previous day, so I still didn't know what I was doing with it. These are all handheld shots.

Zak Braverman slightly out of focus -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak Braverman
slightly out of focus
Stéphane Barbery -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Stéphane Barbery

The photo of Stéphane that appears on my “little lens” post was taken here.

Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos

You can see in the photos above that the bridge is also roped down to keep it from floating away (or, perhaps, to keep its relatively light bulk from swaying in the wind).

Zak Braverman in slightly better focus -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/8000 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak Braverman
in slightly better focus

You can see that the floor plates are really just bolted to the I-beams, which are really just hanging there, so everything moves around as you walk on it. It's slightly unsettling at first when the whole thing ripples as you walk. Also, you can see through the floor plates (which are a grid of steel) straight down to the river below. You can see it for yourself at the end of this short video on YouTube.

Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos

In the background of a few of these shots you can see a bright tree... one of the trees on the far bank was positively glowing with spine's new growth, an effect highlighted even further when the sun would clip it from just above the mountain behind it. I totally didn't capture that feeling, but I gave it a shot...

Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos

All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Great images Jeffrey. A wonderful place.

— comment by Håkan Dahlström on July 2nd, 2011 at 3:08am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

wow, the effect of the f/2 is stunning on those “in line with the bridge” shots. delicious!

— comment by patrick h. lauke on July 2nd, 2011 at 3:14am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Interesting bridge structure, including the cables that descend below it [http://regex.info/i/JF7_081051.jpg]. Thanks for posting these images. Tom in SF

— comment by Tom on July 2nd, 2011 at 5:25am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Fabulous shots! were going to Japan in May and I will defiantly include this on our itinerary. Where there waterfalls near as I’m getting mixed information.
Kindest regards Ali

— comment by Ali Hall on February 26th, 2013 at 10:29pm JST (4 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi there, great shots!! May I ask how to get there from Wakayama city centre? Many thanks!

It’s in the middle of nowhere, so you need a car. Google Maps directions. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jenn on September 28th, 2016 at 1:22pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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