Suspended high in mid-air over a remote forested valley
The Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge in western Oita Prefecture is a marvel of engineering and a breathtaking sight to behold. This magnificent bridge, which is japan‘s longest and loftiest pedestrian bridge, offers visitors the opportunity to walk across the sky and enjoy panoramic views of Oita’s verdant countryside.
Traversing the bridge is like embarking on a journey through a dream. As you walk across its expanse, you are treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including two waterfalls, the Naruko River, and the valley 173 meters below. The bridge provides a unique vantage point from which to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
One of the highlights of the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is its proximity to the Kuju mountain range and the Handa highlands. These areas are renowned for their scenic beauty and offer excellent opportunities for trekking and hiking. Visitors can explore the mountains and highlands, immersing themselves in the unspoiled beauty of nature.
Another must-visit attraction in the area is the Tadewara Wetlands. These wetlands are a haven for wildlife and are home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the wetlands and learn about the importance of environmental conservation. The Tadewara Wetlands are a testament to Japan’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage.
Kurokawa Onsen is another popular destination in the vicinity of the bridge. This picturesque hot spring town is known for its traditional ryokans and therapeutic hot spring baths. Visitors can relax and rejuvenate in the soothing waters of Kurokawa Onsen, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
One of the highlights of the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is the opportunity to witness the beauty of Shindo no taki and Medaki, two of Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls. These cascading falls are a sight to behold and are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Another must-see attraction in the area is the expansive Narukogawa Keikoku forest, which is teeming with abundant wildlife. Visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the forest and observe the diverse flora and fauna that call it home.
For those who love hiking and adventure, the Kuju mountain range offers plenty of opportunities. With its peaks and valleys, the range provides a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. Mt. Mimata and Mt. Waita are two popular peaks in the range that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
How to Get There
To reach the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge, travelers can take a train to JR Oita Station, which is served by the Kyudai, Hohi, and Nippo Main lines. From there, they can take the Kyudai Main line train to Bungo-Nakamura Station and catch a local bus to the bridge. The journey to the bridge is an adventure in itself, as it takes visitors through picturesque countryside and charming rural towns.
Crossing en masse, and you’ll see why
The Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is designed to hold up to 1,800 people at once, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Since its opening in 2006, the bridge has attracted a staggering number of visitors, with more than 300,000 people crossing it in its first month. The bridge’s capacity and popularity are a testament to its appeal and the awe-inspiring views it offers.
The best time to visit the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is between April and early December. During this period, visitors can enjoy the lush greenery of spring and the vibrant colors of autumn. Mid-April to May is the ideal time to witness the beauty of the spring foliage, while November offers a spectacle of fiery autumn colors.
Exploring the mountains, highlands, and wetlands
The Handa highlands, located in the Aso-Kuju National Park, are a paradise for nature lovers. With their rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, the highlands offer endless opportunities for exploration. Visitors can take leisurely walks or embark on more challenging hikes, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the area.
The Kuju mountain range, with its rugged terrain and panoramic views, is a hiker’s paradise. The range offers a variety of hiking trails, catering to both casual hikers and experienced mountaineers. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a challenging ascent, the Kuju mountain range has something for everyone.
The Tadewara Wetlands, located to the west of the Kuju mountains, are a unique ecosystem that is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. These wetlands have been meticulously preserved and protected, and visitors can learn about their importance at the visitors center. The center provides information in English, ensuring that visitors can fully appreciate the ecological significance of the wetlands.
To ensure a comfortable visit, the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge offers several convenient services. Free wheelchair rental is available from the Nakamura area tourist information center and at the ticket counter in the Kitagata area. Additionally, there are free lockers, ample parking, vending machines, toilets, and a tourist information center with Wi-Fi. These amenities ensure that visitors have everything they need for an enjoyable experience.
A few restrictions
While visiting the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge, it is important to be aware of certain restrictions. Adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, or busy periods may result in the closure of the bridge for safety reasons. Additionally, certain activities such as flying drones, sitting, running, and using umbrellas are not allowed on the bridge. Visitors are advised to avoid using thin walking canes and walking in high heels due to the grate on the bridge’s floor.
Not just a bridge
While the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is undoubtedly the main attraction in the area, the city of Oita itself has much to offer. Known for its abundance of fresh produce and friendly locals, Oita is a great place to experience the local culture and cuisine. Visitors can indulge in the region’s famous hot springs, relax in traditional ryokans, and explore the Japanese monkey-inhabited Mt. Takasaki, which is located nearby.
In conclusion, the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge is a true marvel of engineering and a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Its breathtaking views, proximity to scenic mountains and wetlands, and convenient services make it an ideal choice for a memorable day trip or a longer stay. Whether you’re crossing the bridge en masse or embarking on a solo adventure, the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge promises a unique and awe-inspiring experience. So, pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey across the sky.
Address And Maps Location:
1208 Tano, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun, Oita-ken