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Giant All-Cypress "Nihonbashi" Bridge in Edo-Style Expansion of Haneda's Int'l Terminal

Giant All-Cypress

Haneda Nihonbashi, the giant wooden bridge in Haneda Airport.

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Haneda Nihonbashi, a giant wooden bridge constructed as a replica of the larger, famous bridge that once stood in Edo (present-day Tokyo), was installed on August 28 in the shopping zone of Haneda Airport's International Terminal in Ohta Ward, Tokyo.

The project is part of efforts to expand the terminal's facilities as it handles greater traffic from international routes serving the airport. The bridge, measuring 25 meters long and 4 meters across, is about half the size of the original Nihonbashi bridge built in the early 17th century and was fashioned entirely from around 35 tons of Yoshino cypress from Nara Prefecture. The replica structure connects the newly completed expansion's fourth floor with the shopping zone on the fifth floor of the existing main building so that airport visitors can pass freely between the two.

The meticulously designed setting carries on the traditional Japanese-style concept of Edo Koji, an area of the terminal that reproduces the streets of old Edo. The bridge's side is ornamented with burned ceramic tiles depicting a partial motif of a folding screen map of Edo that is in the collection of the National Museum of Japanese History. A spokesperson for Tokyo International Air Terminal Corporation, the company that manages the building, said, "When they cross Nihonbashi, the point from which all distances are measured across Japan, here in this air travel gateway, we want people to feel they are embarking on a journey like none they have ever taken before."

In addition to TIAT Sky Hall, a multipurpose hall; TIAT Sky Road, a passageway with a flight simulator; and Festival Square, an event space with festival floats, the terminal's expansion section is also opening new restaurants, stores and more. Meanwhile in September, "Royal Park ? The Haneda," a "transit hotel," will open with accommodations available to travelers making international connections without having to pass through immigration―a first for a Japanese airport.

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