An all-seeing bridge that spans a host of riverside pleasures
Meganebashi, also known as the Spectacles Bridge, is said to be one of the oldest stone arched bridges in japan. It stretches across the Nakashima River and has become one of Nagasaki’s most photogenic tourist attractions. The name “Spectacles Bridge” comes from the reflection of the arches in the water, which resembles a pair of eyeglasses. This unique feature has made Meganebashi a popular spot for both locals and tourists to visit.
The history of Meganebashi dates back to 1634 when it was built by a Chinese monk named Mokusu Nyoujo. Mokusu Nyoujo later became the abbot of nearby Kofukuji Temple. The bridge was constructed using stone, making it one of the oldest stone bridges in Japan. Despite its age, Meganebashi has stood the test of time and has become an iconic landmark in Nagasaki.
In 1982, a disaster struck Nagasaki and severely damaged Meganebashi. However, the bridge was rebuilt using the same stones, preserving its historical significance. Today, visitors can walk across the bridge and admire its beautiful architecture. The riverside area around Meganebashi is also worth exploring, as it is lined with various shops and restaurants on both banks of the river.
One of the highlights of visiting Meganebashi is dining and people-watching at one of the riverside cafes. These cafes offer a unique dining experience with a view of the bridge and the river. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal while taking in the picturesque surroundings.
Another hidden gem of Meganebashi is the heart-shaped stones that can be found in the river walls. These stones are said to bring good luck in love and happiness. Many visitors try to find these heart-shaped stones as a symbol of eternal love. It adds a touch of romance and mystery to the bridge, making it even more enchanting.
The Nakashima River, where Meganebashi is located, is also a scenic spot worth exploring. The tree-lined river offers a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely stroll. Koi fish and turtles can be occasionally spotted swimming beneath the bridges, adding to the natural beauty of the area.
Along the banks of the Nakashima River, visitors will find numerous souvenir shops, old merchant buildings, small restaurants, and quaint cafes. One particular treat to try in this area is castella, a buttery Portuguese-inspired pound cake. Nagasaki is famous for its castella, and there are many shops and cafes specializing in this delicious treat. It’s a must-try for anyone visiting Meganebashi.
At night, Meganebashi and its sister bridges are illuminated, creating a romantic and nostalgic atmosphere. The soft glow of the lights adds a magical touch to the surroundings, making it a popular spot for evening walks and photography. However, the bridges are never more beautifully lit than during the Nagasaki Lantern Festival. The festival features lanterns in the shape of cranes, koi fish, and lotus flowers, creating a mesmerizing display that leads the way to the bridge. It’s a sight that shouldn’t be missed if you happen to be in Nagasaki during the festival.
To get to Meganebashi, you can take a short walk from the Nigiwaibashi tram stop on the Ishibashi streetcar line. The bridge is easily accessible and can be included in a half-day jaunt around the riverside area. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a photography lover, or someone who enjoys exploring unique landmarks, Meganebashi offers a delightful experience for everyone.
In conclusion, Meganebashi is not just a bridge, but a symbol of Nagasaki’s history and charm. Its unique design and picturesque location make it a must-visit attraction for tourists. Whether you’re admiring the reflection of the arches in the water, searching for heart-shaped stones, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee at a riverside cafe, Meganebashi offers a memorable experience that captures the essence of Nagasaki. So, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this all-seeing bridge and explore the riverside pleasures it has to offer.
Address And Maps Location:
2 Uono-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken