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Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Matsue, Japan

The Eshima Ohashi Bridge is a two-lane concrete road bridge that links the city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture to Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture, in Japan. At a total length of 1.7 km, of which the bridge part is 1.44 km long, and a width of 11.3 meters, it is the largest rigid frame bridge in Japan and the third largest in the world.

In recent months, the bridge has received unusual attention since it was used in a commercial for Daihatsu Motor Co.'s Tanto minivan. The commercial shows the bridge from an angle that exaggerates the slope of the bridge’s approach. Perspective compression by a telephoto lens makes the viewer believe that the bridge is extraordinarily steep. Daihatsu Motor wants you to believe that the bridge is frighteningly steep because it wants to show off its car's strength. Actually, the bridge has a pretty comfortable gradient of 6.1% on Shimane Prefecture side and 5.1% on Tottori Prefecture side, nothing an average car can’t handle. Some websites report that driving over the bridge is “like a roller-coaster ride” which is all media hyperbole.

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Exaggerated slope of the Eshima Ohashi Bridge. Photo credit

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Screengrab from the commercial that shows the Eshima Ohashi Bridge.

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The true slope of Eshima Ohashi Bridge can only be seen from the sides. Photo credit

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The commercial by Daihatsu Motor Co.

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