Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hanging out at Kintaikyo (Kintai Bridge) in Iwakuni

At about 1545 Monday afternoon we made it back to Iwakuni and figured we had just enough time to check out Kintai-kyo (Kintai Bridge).  So, we made a short detour off the road we were on and pulled into what we assumed was a free parking lot.  I think there may be times of the year when you have to pay a fee to park, but today it was free.

After we parked, we made our way over to the bridge where we paid 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for the kids, round trip ticket.  After hours there is an honor box to put your payment in.  I love Japan!

The original Kintaikyo (lit. arch bridge) was built in the late 1600's, but the bridge washed away in a storm shortly thereafter.  This bridge, the fourth built here, was completed in the 1980's (I think).  

After paying, we started our trek across the arches to the other side.  I have to say, it was pretty awesome walking up and down the bumps in the bridge.  As you start at the bottom you lose sight of everything on the other side of that bump, then it gradually comes back into view the higher you get.  So much fun!



A look to the right at the mountains as the sun is making its way down toward the horizon behind us.

Somehow I convinced Boy to pose in cat stance on the bridge for me.  Sometimes he cooperates.


Once on the other side we walked down the steps and then around the corner and down the embankment to the river's edge.  The kids had a blast hopping from rock to rock.  I just knew someone was going to fall in...yes, you know who I had my on the closest...that Havens Boy....


I took a lot of pictures of this bridge.
A
Lot


Here's a shot of the woodwork on the underside.  It was so pretty to look at.  Way back when the first one was built they didn't use nails.  Just perfectly fit it all together then wrapped, I think, copper around it.  

At around 1600 I said to Kris, maybe we can just stay a few minutes longer and see the lights come on as the sun goes down.  We waited and waited and waited.  It took forever!  Luckily, the kids found things to entertain themselves with while we waited.  Kris took quite a bit of time teaching them how to skip rocks.  Us...learning to skip rocks across a little river, next to a World Heritage site - a beautiful bridge, in Japan....who'da ever thunk it??!!

Iwakuni Castle on top of Yokoyama.  I was hoping to visit the castle, but it's closed this time of  year. Darn.  Well, we didn't really have time to fit it in anyway.  But, I sure would have tried!


After a rainy start to our day we had an outstanding sunset!  Blue sky, pretty clouds, golden sun, and misty mountains in the background.  :)







Finally, around 1700 the lights on the far side of the bridge came on.  So, we walked around to get a few more pictures while we waited for the other lights to come on.  THIRTY MINUTES LATER!  What was the deal?  I think someone forgot to turn on the lights!


While we waited for the other lights to come on, Garytt took a few pictures for me.  And, he built us an awesome creation.   We see stuff like this at many shrines we meet on hiking trails.  


One of my favorites of the day.  The sunset, the bridge, the reflection.  Wow!


Finally, the other set of lights came on at 1730!   It was getting a bit chilly now, so we admired the bridge as much as we could then made our way back to the car and the base for a bite to eat.



What a great way to end the day....quiet time with the five of us.