Walk The Glass Walkway At Akashi Kaikyo, Japan's Longest Suspension Bridge

If you're not afraid of heights or if you're looking for some thrills, walking along a glass walkway might be something worth trying in Kobe, Japan. Famous for its eponymous beef, Kobe is also home to the country's longest suspension bridge, Akashi Kaikyo. The second-longest suspension bridge in the world, according to the Official Travel Guide of Kobe, Akashi Kaikyo stretches about 2.5 miles across the Akashi Strait, connecting Kobe and Awaji Island.

You don't have to cross the bridge to experience walking on glass, however, as you'll find the log crossing and glass floor at the Maiko Marine Promenade. The promenade is located at the bridge's girder and can be accessed from the Kobe side. According to Japan Experience, you'll need to get on an elevator first to access the roughly 1,000-foot walkway. But the effort is well worth it because once you reach the promenade, you'll be blown away by the amazing views.

Views from the glass walkway

At the Maiko Marine Promenade, locally known as Marukibashi, you can get a close-up look at the interior of the Akashi Kaikyo bridge. In addition, you can also view the other portions of the bridge. Maiko Marine Promenade also has a restaurant called Maiko Toms Cafe, where you can relax and take in the impressive views.

The walkway itself provides you with a spectacular view of the Akashi Strait from approximately 165 feet above the water. Akashi Strait is a popular fishing area where about 1,400 ships pass through, according to the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Expressway Company Limited, so you can watch maritime traffic while you're atop the glass walkway. You can also view Osaka Bay from the walkway too. If you visit at night, you can catch the Akashi Kaikyo bridge lit up by more than 1,600 lights, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Views from the top of Akashi Kaikyo bridge

While the views from Maiko Marine Promenade's glass walkway is an experience that cannot be easily replicated, Akashi Kaikyo bridge has more to offer visitors. Not so well known but exceedingly memorable is a tour to the top of the bridge. A tour guide will lead you high aboveĀ for a breathtaking panoramic view of Kobe, Awaji Island, Himeji, and Osaka. If you look down, you'll see vehicles passing by and further down, boats traversing the waters. You'll be grouped with other non-Japanese speakers and there is also an English audio guide to help you, per Japan Experience. Tours are available from April to November.

If you tire of exploring the bridge, you can head down to the Bridge Exhibition Center where you'll learn about how the bridge was built as well as other suspension bridges in the world. Afterward, stroll through Maiko Park and appreciate the bridge from a different vantage point. You can even ride a car through the bridge for a unique perspective of this engineering marvel. And once you're at Awaji, head to the Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park for a pit stop.