Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kintai-Kyo Bridge

Iwakuni is a town about 40 west of Hiroshima and is famous for a wooden arched bridge.  I have always wanted visit this town, the famous bridge is often used in travel advertising as a recommended place to go.
Finding the bridge was not difficult, there are good signs all over Iwakuni station directing you to the bus that takes you to the bridge. The bus takes you right to the base of the bridge.
This is a really amazing wooden structure, but unlike ninja houses and other Japanese wood things, this bridge does use nails to help pin it together.
Back in the day this bridge was for samurai only, but today anyone can cross for 300 yen,  
 Friday and Sunday was rain, I was lucky to visit on Saturday, very nice day.
I also saw the first signs of spring, March 3rd seems kind of early for plum blossom blooming but I have never been this far south in Japan this early in the year.
The bridge is part of Kikkou park, the part also contains Iwakuni castle, that looks down over the town.  You can see the castle on the top of the mountain in the third photo from the top.  I took a ropeway to get there and walked down the mountain to get back.
Below is the bridge seen from the 4th floor of the castle.
Inside the castle was a small museum that host information about the town around the castle and the castle itself.  Some of the exhibits showed old prints of the bridge.
 The bridge dates back to the 1600's.
I like the statue below, he must have been in charge of keeping the town clean.

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