Spanning the Beauty of Kyoto’s Countryside
Togetsukyo is a 155-meter bridge that gracefully stretches across the Katsura River in Saga Arashiyama, a renowned destination for its scenic beauty in the western hills of Kyoto. This bridge, with its artistic form, encapsulates the aesthetic sense that lies at the heart of japan‘s artistic tradition.
The name Togetsukyo, meaning “moon crossing,” originated from a tale associated with Emperor Kameyama during the Kamakura period. Legend has it that during a boating party under a full moon, the emperor perceived the moon as if it were crossing the bridge. The first incarnation of the bridge was constructed in 836, while the current structure was completed in 1934. Although it appears to be made of wood, the bridge features reinforced concrete columns and beams, with only the parapets crafted from cypress.
Togetsukyo holds a special place in Japanese culture and has been prominently featured in period films. Its picturesque setting and historical significance make it a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. In addition to its visual appeal, the bridge serves as a venue for cormorant fishing during summer nights, adding to its allure and cultural significance.
One of the highlights of visiting Togetsukyo is taking a rickshaw ride over the river. This traditional mode of transportation allows visitors to experience the bridge and its surroundings in a unique and nostalgic way. After the rickshaw ride, visitors can indulge in a delightful dining experience at one of the many restaurants located at either end of the bridge. These establishments offer a wide range of culinary delights, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of Kyoto while enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.
To reach Togetsukyo, one can take the JR Sagano Line from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station. Alternatively, the Keifuku Arashiyama Main Line offers another route to Arashiyama Station, from where the bridge is just a one-minute walk away. The accessibility of the bridge by train makes it convenient for tourists to include in their itinerary when exploring Kyoto.
The surroundings of Togetsukyo are equally captivating. Arashiyama, the mountain located south of the bridge, boasts lush green slopes that transform into a mesmerizing pink hue during cherry blossom season. In autumn, the mountain is adorned with vibrant red maple leaves, creating a breathtaking scene. Even during winter, when the snow blankets the landscape, Arashiyama resembles a scene straight out of an ink landscape painting.
At the foot of the bridge, visitors can find a variety of souvenir shops, offering a range of unique and traditional items. These shops add to the nostalgic ambiance of the area, transporting visitors back in time to a bygone era of Japan. Additionally, rickshaws can be seen shuttling back and forth, further enhancing the atmosphere and allowing visitors to experience the charm of traditional Japan.
Togetsukyo is a place that truly encapsulates the beauty and cultural richness of Kyoto’s countryside. Its combination of natural splendor, historical significance, and traditional charm make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the region. Whether strolling across the bridge, taking a rickshaw ride, or simply admiring the seasonal views, Togetsukyo offers a unique experience that immerses visitors in the timeless allure of Japan’s artistic and natural heritage.
Please note that the information provided in this article may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is advisable to check for any updates or restrictions before planning a visit to Togetsukyo.
Address And Maps Location:
Togetsukyo, Saga, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu