Eitai bridge in Tokyo: before and after


Chances are when you are in Tokyo you have crossed or at least seen Eitai bridge (永代橋, えいたいばし). It is a rather old bridge over Sumida River having on the West bank Chuo-ku and Koto-ku on the East side. Actually the first bridge had been built around 1698 about 100m away from the present spot. Most likely the name originated from then called Eitai island in the Sagachou area (old naming). During the Edo period it seems that from the bridge one could see in the west Mount Fuji, north Tsukuba, south Hakone and in the east Awa, Kazusa, which were provinces of Kanto (In Japanese: 西に富士、北に筑波、南に箱根、東に安房上総). The present bridge had been finished in 1926 and is 184.7m long, with a height of 25.0m.
For me this bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in Tokyo, especially as it is light up until 22:00 at night.
By chance during a trip to Nikko I came across an old post card and became curious to see the present surrounding of the bridge (above is the actual present picture and below post card, undated). I did my best with taking the picture from roughly the same spot.

Further some Ukiyo-e exist that show the views from Eitai bridge. See more details from old print from Edo period. For those with further interest on Eitai bridge, visit Wikipedia or then have a look at the insignia close to the site.

If I come across some nice old post cards again, I will check out the actual spots and will keep you posted.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

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