All of a sudden, the asphalt road before you rises up into the sky, cutting off your path. Sticking straight up out of the ground as if a giant had planted it there, Tei Port"s movable bridge is truly a sight to behold. This strange bridge runs across Tei Port in Kochi prefecture"s Konan City. The bridge can be raised whenever a boat needs to enter or exit the port. Tei Port was built in 1653 by a Tosa (present-day Kochi) senior retainer, Kenzan Nonaka, by digging up the existing beach. This makes Tei Port Japan"s very first artificially excavated, manmade port. Protecting the people from the Pacific Ocean"s wind and waves, it was known as the good port of Tosa.
Then, years later, Tei Port"s movable bridge was constructed in 2002. The bridge is 32.8 meters long. When the alarm sounds, railroad crossing-style gates are lowered, and a hydraulic cylinder slowly begins to raise the bridge. It takes about six minutes to complete the process, which can be observed about once every two hours. The bridge is actually closed less often than it is open. It"s only passable for about seven hours a day. The bridge remains up all night long, so drivers have to use alternate routes. Although it appears to stand at a right angle, the bridge can only go up a maximum of 70 degrees; the design is primarily intended to avoid obstructing boats.
Tei port has beautiful stone working on its wharf, and the moveable bridge stands as a beloved new symbol of the charming, historic port.
Tei, Yasu-cho, Konan City, Kochi Prefecture
●About a 22-km drive along Route 32 to Route 55 from Kochi City toward Aki City (turn right at Yasu Station) ●About a 20-km drive along Route 32 to Route 55 from Nankoku Interchange on Kochi Expressway ●About a 50-minute ride on Shikoku Railway’s Dosan Line and Tosa Kuroshio Railway’s Gomen-Nahari Line to Yasu Station; about 700 meters from the station