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Urbanscape Lighting Feature Lighting

Megane Bridge (Miyamorigawa Bridge)Tono City, Iwate Prefecture

A magical lighting scheme to evoke the spirit of a Night on the Galactic Railroad

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  • LED
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  • Standard display in blue, green, orange and pink, inviting the viewer into a world of whimsy.

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Installation date

June, 2020

Located in Miyamorigawa Town, Tono City, Iwate Prefecture in the North-East of Japan, the distinctive 107.3m long, 17.8m high Miyamorigawa Bridge features 5 prominent semicircular arches, leading to it affectionately becoming known by its nickname of Megane* Bridge (*Megane = Spectacles) Predecessor to the present-day Japan Rail Kamaishi Line, the Iwate Light Railroad was said to be an inspiration behind author Kenji Miyazawa's famed novel Night on the Galactic Railroad. As part of Japan Rail East's Joyful Trains lineup, the restored Steam Locomotive SL Ginga has been operating between Hanamaki and Kamaishi Stations at weekends during peak season since spring 2014, attracting a large number of railway enthusiasts and also becoming one of Tono City's emblematic scenic spots. Recognized both as a site of ‘Civil Engineering Heritage’ and of ‘Modern Industrial Heritage’ - as well as being considered something of a lovers' sanctuary thanks to its evocative romantic setting - in 2020 Megane Bridge was also granted recognition as a Nighttime Illumination Heritage Site by the General Incorporated Association YAKEI* Convention & Visitors Bureau. (*Yakei = Nightscape)

Now run by the City of Tono, the illuminations were originally conceived in the late 1980s as a project of the local Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the bridge quickly becoming renowned as a local hotspot owing to its year-round light display - something that was quite uncommon in the prefecture at the time. Having previously been illuminated using colored HID lamps, the passing of a few decades since its initial installation, as well as a drive towards energy savings and modernization saw the scheme brought up-to-date in June 2020 with the installation of 14 units of IWASAKI's color-changing floodlight LEDioc FLOOD FULL-COLOR, directly replacing the luminaires of the existing scheme on a one-for-one basis. With the color changing LED floodlights now presenting the opportunity to realize a broad spectrum of colors, the characterful concrete bridge is currently adorned from sunset to 10PM with an enchanting four-color display of blue, green, orange and pink. Against a backdrop of numerous events and activities being cancelled throughout 2020 as a result of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, a special event backed by Nighttime Illumination Heritage was held in October, with a fireworks display taking place above and in synergy with a special lighting display projected onto Megane Bridge. Bringing joy to the town's residents, the success of the event has inspired plans for similar displays in future to mark occasions such as Tanabata* and Christmas amongst others, as part of activities to promote tourism in the region. This year, specially extended hours of illumination over the New Year period saw the stately bridge dressed in high-output, high-efficiency LED light, creating an attractive nightscape. (* Tanabata = The Star Festival: a festival which takes place each summer in Japan)

We look forward to continuing our work in cooperation with the local population and Japan Rail to shine a light on a cherished local attraction, helping to continue revitalizing the region as a place to be enjoyed and appreciated by ever more visitors.

Specification

  • LEDioc FLOOD FULL-COLOR 240W type - 14

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