Ohashi Junction, Chuo-Kanjou-sen

 
Ohashi Junction and the loop connection. You can see Shibuya in the background, Infoss Tower and Cerulean Hotel building where Google Japan are located

Ohashi Junction and the loop connection. You can see Shibuya in the background, Infoss Tower and Cerulean Hotel building where Google Japan are located

Central Tokyo Highways are a great site, built high above the ground, winding past apartment and office windows through the over-developed city below.

Despite a great subway and train system, roads are still an important part of transport for the city. The roads in Tokyo have struggled to find room to accommodate the growth of traffic and have had to therefore build highways in the sky and sometimes also tunnels underground.

The Circular Route. Tokyo Bay to the bottom right

The Circular Route. Tokyo Bay to the bottom right

A road called the Central Circular Route has been under planning and construction for a long time now, and is almost coming to completion. It will link Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Ohashi Junction (just below Shibuya) so that passage from Ikebukuro to the Tomei and Chuo Freeways is made much easier.

Map of the area where the road will run

Map of the area where the road will run

The Circular Route will later continue under Yamate Dori and join up with highways heading for Haneda Airport at Ooi Junction.

Some of the construction on this route is quite amazing to consider.

A look at the concrete structure that is the Ohashi Junction loop

A look at the concrete structure that is the Ohashi Junction loop

The road has been made by advanced tunneling machinery.

The machine that helps make the tunnel, sourced from Wikimedia

The machine that helps make the tunnel, sourced from Wikimedia

Inside the loop, sourced from Wikimedia

Inside the loop, sourced from Wikimedia

Inside the tunnel, sourced from Wikimedia

Inside the tunnel, sourced from Wikimedia

There have been a number of tours open for people to go inside and take photographs. The last one was a special premium tour for bloggers. Unfortunately I missed it or you would probably be scrolling down another set of 35 photos here.

A premium tour was being offered to bloggers at the beginning of Aug 2009. Shame I missed out on this !

A premium tour was being offered to bloggers at the beginning of Aug 2009. Shame I missed out on this !

The Circular Route between Shinjuku and Ohashi Junction is underground. To expel the exhaust fumes from the tunnel, tall chimneys have been built along the route. You can see these white chimneys in the photos I took recently from the Carrot Tower in Sangenjaya (close to Shibuya).

Docomo Tower, Yoyogi in the background. Can you spot some of the white chimneys?

Docomo Tower, Yoyogi in the background. Can you spot some of the white chimneys?

I am not sure what explanation residents along the route got about the exhaust chimneys, but I can not imagine they were too happy to hear about their construction.

One of the exhaust chimneys running along Yamate Dori

One of the exhaust chimneys running along Yamate Dori

White chimneys where the exhaust fumes will come out

White chimneys where the exhaust fumes will come out

Looking out at Shinjuku and Yoyogi. Can you see some of the white chimneys?

Looking out at Shinjuku and Yoyogi. Can you see some of the white chimneys?

The Ohashi Junction Loop is also quite an engineering feat. The loop road need to bring the cars from 35 metres underground out of the tunnel to 35 metres above ground to reach Highway 3, which is built above Route 246.

Hgihway 3 on top, Route 246 below, Tokyo Denen-Toshi line, then loop connection 1st and 2nd level. 70 metres from top to bottom

Hgihway 3 on top, Route 246 below, Tokyo Denen-Toshi line, then loop connection 1st and 2nd level. 70 metres from top to bottom

Highway 3, running above Route 246, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower in the background

Highway 3, running above Route 246, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower in the background

The loop line moving cars a vertical distance of 70 metres is a huge structure. Its area is so large it could contain a normal size soccer pitch measuring 170 metres by 110 metres.

170 metres by 100 metres

170 metres by 100 metres

The Ohashi Junction connects the underground Circular Route from left to right and the North to South view here of Highway 3 traveling above Route 246.

The Ohashi Junction connects the underground Circular Route from left to right and the North to South view here of Highway 3 traveling above Route 246.

The route is planned to open next year in March.

More Information

15 thoughts on “Ohashi Junction, Chuo-Kanjou-sen”

  1. Pingback: Japundit
  2. Mikio Tejima says:

    This is what I expected to be reported by Japanese media.
    Japanese media need drastic change by twitter power.

    http://shibuya-west.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2009/07/post-1120.html

    1. shibuya246 says:

      I agree. It would be nice to see some better information out of the Japanese media, rather than just repeating scandal stories.

  3. whipcracker says:

    RT @Shibuya246: Ohashi Junction, Chuo-Kanjou-sen, Japan Buildings | Shibuya246 http://bt.io/8Mu

    I wouldn’t want to be living in those apts next to the smoke stacks. More air polution. How much higher can you go with the roads. I thought we had it bad in the DFW metroplex, our is nicknamed ” The Mixmaster” more free ways than you can “Shake the stick at! Next stop The Moon!

  4. wrightak says:

    Due to this new project, my friend went to Boston and helped make a documentary about the Big Dig project that they have there. I wonder how they handled the exhaust fumes in Boston.

    1. shibuya246 says:

      It would be interesting to see how different cities are handling the problem and whether the technology to handle it can be bought and sold as a commodity or whether they freely exchange ideas?

  5. CityTrader says:

    How ’bout the highway in Osaka that goes THROUGH an apartment?

    1. shibuya246 says:

      yes, Osaka has some really fancy highway design spots as well. This is the one you are referring to right?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gate_Tower_Building

  6. McAlpine says:

    Professional grade post you got here. Surprised you’re not working for The papers. Or are you? This is better than what’s being put out there right now. Good post. Perhaps if my picture was added it would be an excellent post….

    1. shibuya246 says:

      Thank you. Really nice to hear your comment. Not working for a newspaper, but like the idea 🙂

  7. Ryan says:

    Wow, this post is really detailed! Not been to Japan for about twelve months now, so interesting to hear about the great things that are going on there at the moment vis-a-vis transport issues. This really is insightful. Like somebody else said: are you getting paid for this, hehe?

  8. Erizabesu says:

    Great photos and reportage here! The Yamate Loop construction has been going on right outside my office, and little to no clear information has appeared in the J-media. Nice going with this informative post!

  9. Clark Parker says:

    Good stuff! I happened to walk by the construction site before ever hearing of this project. You have some great photos here. I went back once the project was completed and was pretty happy with the execution. It will look a bit nicer once the trees on the rooftop mature.

    http://thetokyofiles.com/2015/01/18/planting-rice-on-the-highway-ohashi-green-junction/

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