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The Kintaikyo Bridge (ёы, Kintaikyō) has been Iwakuni's most distinguished landmark and a subject of admiration for hundreds of years. The elegant, wooden bridge makes five bold arches onto massive stone pillars as it crosses over the Nishiki River.

Plans for the Kintaikyo were first drawn up when strong currents had once again destroyed a bridge crossing the Nishiki River. A more durable bridge was commissioned by Kikkawa Hiroyoshi, the third feudal lord of Iwakuni, whose statue stands at the entrance to nearby Kikko Park. After the bridge's completion in 1673, it kept standing until 1950, when Iwakuni was struck by a violent typhoon.

With the country still exhausted from the war, the maintenance of cultural properties suffered neglect. For this reason, the bridge that had stood for almost 300 years, collapsed as desperate townspeople looked on and futilely tried to divert the ferocious current. Shortly thereafter, determined residents began constructing a precise reconstruction of their cherished bridge. It was completed in 1953.

In the early 2000s, Kintaikyo underwent its first renovations since its reconstruction. The renovation works were extensive and cost over two billion yen. Rare for a pedestrian bridge, visitors must pay a fee to walk across.

Getting there and around

Buses travel from both Iwakuni Station and Shin-Iwakuni Station to Kintaikyo bus stop. The trip takes 20 minutes and costs 300 yen from Iwakuni Station (buses every 5-15 minutes) or 15 minutes and 350 yen from Shin-Iwakuni Station (1-2 buses per hour).

How to get to and around Iwakuni

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Hotels around Iwakuni

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    • Iwakuni Kokusai Kanko Hotel
      Mid-range
      Located right in front of Kintaikyo Bridge, Iwakuni Kokusai Kanko Hotel offers Japanese-style rooms and public indoor/outdoor hot-spring baths. Guests can use free Wi-Fi at the public areas and massages can be requested for an extra cost. JR Shin Iwakuni Train Station is a 10-minute drive away. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. A safety deposit box, fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags are included in each. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and Japanese Yukata robes. Guests can enjoy the various open-air hot-spring baths and refresh in the sauna. Free parking is available on site and local souvenirs can be purchased at the gift shop. Japanese meals featuring local Iwakuni sushi can be enjoyed at Sakura Chaya restaurant and Chinese dishes are served at Iwakuni Szechwan Restaurant. Kanko Hotel Iwakuni Kokusai is a 5-minute walk from Kikko Park and a 5-minute drive from Iwakuni Castle. Miyajima Island can be reached in 1 hour by car.
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    • Green Rich Hotel Iwakuni Ekimae (Artificial hot spring Futamata Yunohana)
      Mid-range
      Green Rich Hotel Iwakuni Ekimae is situated in Iwakuni, 27 km from Komatsu Harbor and 4.2 km from Kintai Bridge. Rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. All rooms are fitted with a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport is a 10-minute drive from the property.
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    • Hotel Trend Iwakuni
      Mid-range
      42 km from Komatsu Harbor, Hotel Trend Iwakuni is set in Iwakuni and offers air-conditioned rooms. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi. Private parking is available on site. At the hotel, all rooms are equipped with a desk, a TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. The units will provide guests with a fridge. Guests at Hotel Trend Iwakuni can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Kintai Bridge is 5 km from the accommodation, while Shin-Iwakuni Station is 10 km away. The nearest airport is Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport, 2 km from Hotel Trend Iwakuni.
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