Monday, 18 April 2016

Iwakuni, Iwakuni castle and Kintaikyo bridge

Kintaikyo bridge Iwakuni

While Marcus and I were in Hiroshima, we went on a day trip to Iwakuni and Kintaikyo.
Iwakuni was one of my favourite days in Japan so far, actually. It's a little off the beaten path, but if you're staying in Hiroshima it's well worth the trip. We went to see Kintaikyo- an old, famous bridge that is built in five arches. Iwakuni castle is also well worth the visit- although it is perched on the top of a pretty large hill, there's a cable car that takes you up most of the way. Visit Kintaikyo for some awesome architecture, and a relaxed day of sightseeing. 

How to get there:

From Hiroshima, you take the JR sanyo train to Iwakuni and then a bus from Iwakuni station to Kintaikyo.

You can tell an area in Japan is pretty "countryside" when there is no English anywhere, and the bus at Iwakuni was definitely one of those times. The town itself was pretty quiet, even though it was a Sunday, but the touristy area near the castle and Kintaikyo was a little livelier. After you've crossed over the bridge, there is a park and some touristy shops. There is also a museum, I believe. More importantly, there was also a shop selling like 100 different flavours of ice cream, in loads of weird combinations.

You have to walk through a park area to get to the cable car (or the footpath) up to the castle, and there is a really pretty shrine in the area as well. When we went at the end of February, the blossom was just starting to come out! Around Kintaikyo itself was a load of Sakura trees, and I imagine it looks lovely during cherry blossom season.

You have to pay to walk over the bridge, but you can get a combined ticket for Kintaikyo, Iwakuni castle and cable car for about 1000 yen. I'd recommend buying it as it will save you some money (and save you climbing up the huge hill to get to Iwakuni castle.)

The castle is a concrete reconstruction, and while I wouldn't recommend it instead of more original castles like Himeji and Hikone, it's still worth a visit. Inside the castle, there were a lots of swords and artefacts, which was unexpected and a cool little bonus. The main draw to the castle in my opinion was the amazing view though. You can see for ages, as well as being able to look down on Kintaikyo.

Iwakuni castle

Kintaikyo Iwakuni


Kintai bridge

Kintaikyo


bamboo grove in Iwakuni

Iwakuni castle

view from Iwakuni castle

view from Iwakuni castle


view from Iwakuni castle



Plum blossom Iwakuni

plum blossom Iwakuni

Kintaikyo Iwakuni

If you're in the Chubu area of Japan, make sure to check out Iwakuni and Kintaikyo~
Thanks for reading! (^O^)/ 
-Amy xoxo

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2 comments

  1. Hello. Is there any specific a bus number to ride from Iwakuni station to Kintaikyo? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hiya! I can't remember the bus number, I'm so sorry >_< I think there were signs saying which bus to take though, in English and Japanese. Japan guide has some more information on getting there which might help though ^^ http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6177.html

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