When talking about Iwakuni city in Yamaguchi, Kintaikyo Bridge is the first thing that pops into the head of any Japanese person. The wooden bridge with its 5 arches stretching over the clear Nishiki River is truly a beautiful place worth visiting.
But actually there are plenty of other unique bridges dotted around Iwakuni city. I headed for some slightly less well-known ones not featured in the guidebook of Iwakuni city, the town for bridges.
This was the first one. It’s around 8 kilometers from Kintaikyo Bridge.
If you take the Nishikigawa Seiryu line from Iwakuni station and get off at the 4th station, (Shuuchikasagami), it’s around 5 minutes walk.
If you go by car, take national highway number 187 from Iwakuni city and drive along Nishiki River. Shuuchi Bridge is located at the point where you make a left turn for Shuuchikasagami station.
Shuuchi Bridge is of a construction type called chinkakyo or sensuikyo (both meaning bridges sinking under water). It’s a somewhat unique type of bridge in that during normal times it can be used as normal, but when water levels rise, the bridge is flooded and cannot be crossed.
Crossing the bridge by car or bicycle it’s quite a thrilling experience!
Next, I headed towards a second chinkakyo type bridge built over Nishiki River. Hosori Ohashi Bridge is around 5 minutes walk from Nishikigawa Seiryu line’s Minamigouchi station, and 10.5km’s from Kintaikyo Bridge, driving upstream along national route 187.
Come spring, the riverbanks and surroundings are full of blooming rapeseed flowers around both chinkakyo bridges. The combination of the bridges, the river and the flowers creates picturesque countryside scenery.
After visiting the two chinkakyo bridges, I stroll to the city center from Iwakuni station.
As I approach the bridge built over the Monzengawa River, I can see the spring scenery of of Iwakuni with ice goby fishing gear set up.
As I continue to walk upstream along the riverbank I see Yaoshin Brewery, one of the five breweries located in Iwakuni city.
This sake it brews, Ganki, is very popular in the region and can be purchased at the brewery shop. It makes a great souvenir, too!
The last one on my Iwakuni bridge tour list has to be Kintaikyo Bridge.
With its beautiful five arches, Kintaikyo Bridge is to be found beyond the “Yarikokashi Matsu” pine tree…
Afterwards I head to Musashi, a soft serve ice cream shop next to the Kintaikyo Bridge.
We recommend choosing a sweeeet reward from among the 100 different flavors (with new ones added all the time).
They serve a selection from staple flavors to unique ones such as fermented beans, ramen and curry! It’s hard to decide which one to choose.
The habanero flavor I finally chose had plenty of habanero powder – it’s the real thing, so you won’t be able to finish without drinking water!
How about enjoying the unique scenery and local specialties of Iwakuni while taking a tour of its bridges?
Location: Suuchi disctrict, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Access: 5-minutes walk from Nishikigawa Seiryu line’s Shuuchikasagami station
Hosori Ohashi Bridge
Location: Hosori district, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Access: 5-minutes walk from Nishikigawa Seiryu line’s Minamigouchi station
Yaoshin Breweries Company
Address: 3-18-9 Imazumachi, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Address: 2-1-23 Yokoyama, Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Closed: No regular holidays
URL: http://www.sky.icn-tv.ne.jp/~soft-100/ (Japanese)
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