The Most Beautiful Wooden Bridge in Japan, National Treasure Since 1922
The medieval town of Iwakuni, located in the northen part of Yamaguchi, is one of my biggest surprises in Japan ! You will find, around the Nishiki River, the historic district that time has not degraded. The beautiful and impressive Kintai Kyo bridge perfectly demonstrates it.
A landscape worthy of the most beautiful Japanese prints. The bridge was built in 1673 without the use of metal nails, showing the savoir-faire of the Japanese craftsmen. The bridge joins the two banks of the river Nishiki, over 175m. Built on stone piers, the 5 wooden arches show an impressive resistance. Nevertheless, the typhoon Kijia completely destroyed the bridge in 1950. This version of the bridge was built in 1953.
You may be reluctant to pay the fee (300 yen) to cross it, but you’ll be helping for its renovation. Otherwise, you can cross the bridge for free by arriving early in the morning or late at night.
From the top of the arches, you will have a beautiful view of the valley, Kikkō Park and Iwakuni Castle at the summit of Mt Shiroyama. I strongly advise you to walk along the banks of the river because you will have a beautiful view of the bridge, and the path has a special charm.
The banks of the river are very popular among locals in spring for the cherry blossoms, or in the fall to admire the change of colors. This place is a History capsule where you can experience the Japan of yesteryear, worthy of Kurosawa‘s samurai movies.
There is an entrance fee during daytime (300 yen).
You can easily access Iwakuni from Hiroshima. First take the San-yo Line to Iwakuni Station and then Gantoku Line to Nishi-Iwakuni Station (1h for 860 yen). You can also take the shinkansen to Shin-Iwakuni (45 min for 3 460 yen).