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Iwakuni city

IwakuniIwakuni city is located at the east end of Yamaguchi Prefecture.
It is closer to Hiroshima city rather than the other cities in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is located about 40 km southwest of Hiroshima.

Iwakuni has been the important place of both land route and sea route, so there was a town in ancient times.
In the 17th century, Iwakuni Castle was built, then it had developed as a castle town.

The old town is located about 5 km west of the central Iwakuni city.
Nishiki River with clear water flows, and some sightseeing spots are aroud there.

Kintai Bridge /1/

Kintaikyo Kintai Bridge ("Kintaikyo" in Japanese) is a wooden arch bridge across Nishiki River.
The lenght is 193.3 meters and the width is 5 meters. It has five arches.

The original bridge was built in 1673 to connect Iwakuni Castle and the castle town.
To construct the bridge resistant to flood, an arch bridge in China gave the designer the idea of structure.
After the completion, this bridge had kept the figure for a long time, by repairing periodically.

But it was washed away first in a massive flood by typhoon in 1950.
It is said that the reason of the washout was that the maintainance had been neglected during the World War II.
Then, it was restored in 1953.

This bridge is made of woods. Of course, nails and clamps are used.
But the main structural part of the bridge is assembled elaborately with only woods.
It is said that this structure isn't seen even in the world.

The bridge keeps over 50 years. But each arch has been replaced about every 10 years.
Because new carpenters for this bridge can learn the ingenious structure and its excellent technique is handed down to future.

Iwakuni Castle /2/

Iwakuni Castle Iwakuni Castle is on the mountain by Kintai Bridge.
The castle was completed in 1608, but it was demolished in 1615 on orders of the government.
Instead, the administrative headquarters were set up there, and governed this town.
In 1962, the castle tower was restored based on an old picture map.
We can visit the castle by ropeway from the foot of the mountain. The station of the ropeway is located about 400 meters from Kintai Bridge.

White snake in Iwakuni /3/

In only some districts in Iwakuni, white snakes live.
It is a Japanese ratsnake without pigment, and is the result of mutation.
Since old times, the people in this area have treasured the snakes as a messenger of God.
Now only hundreds of snakes live in the area, and are designated as natural treasures.
We can see them in the observation house for visitors near the ropeway station.

Kikko Park /4/

Kikko Park It is the park located just northwest of Kintai Bridge and at the foot of the mountain with Iwakuni Castle.
The ropeway station is near this park, and observation house of white snake is in this park.
There was the residence of Kikkawa family which was the lord of Iwakuni Clan in the 16-19th centuries, and the site is about 200 meters square.
In 1885, Kikko Shrine was moved to this site, and the site was changed to the park.
In and around this park, there are several former samurai residences.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

  1. By local train on JR San'yo Line, about 48 minutes from Hiroshima to Iwakuni.
  2. By route bus, about 15-20 minutes from Iwakuni station to Kintai Bridge.
    When you get off at Shin-Iwakuni station on Shinkansen, it takes about 12 minutes to Kintai Bridge by route bus. But the trains of Shinkansen stop there only once every hour.

Kintai Bridge and iwakuni Castle on the mountain
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
A view from Iwakuni Castle
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
In spring
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Construction of the bridge On the bridge
iwakuni Castle
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
White snake in Iwakuni
Kikko Park
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Kikko Shrine
Photo by Railstation.net
Mekata House, a former samurai residence
Photo by Railstation.net
Former samurai residences around Kikko Park

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