Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Takimibashi Suspension Bridge, Nikko, Tochigi

The next several posts will be on the "pilgrimage" trip to Nikko hubby and I had promised my sister ever since we arrived in Japan. It was her lifelong dream to go there with us (yes, I'm being sarcastic) and you'll see what I'm talking about when I get to that post ^.^ Just try very hard not to giggle at her inner otaku when you're there, mmkay?

But first let's get the touristy stuff out of the way, shall we? On our very first day at Nikko, we took a train up to Kinugawa Onsen to, well, visit an onsen. Here is where things got really tricky: on the Wikipedia link I just gave, the web in general, the various brochures, maps, pamphlets and whatnot we got about "Kinugawa Onsen," even the directions from the host of the awesome hostel we stayed at, Sumica Guesthouse, it was not exactly clear to us what this "place" is. Perhaps we were all silly tourists, but it did not dawn upon us until we got off the train that this "Kinugawa Onsen" we are looking for is actually an entire town! So really, "Kinugawa Onsen" should be understood as "onsens at Kigunawa" rather than a specific onsen named "Kinugawa." I confirmed this later that night googling for "Kinugawa" and finally found this Kinugawa WikiTravel page. Anyway, in this Kinugawa Onsen town, there are numerous hotels and ryokans with their own hot spring baths and a few other hot spring bathhouses that are open to the public with just an entrance fee (rather than requiring room-booking for overnight stays).

Anyway, after realizing we were in an onsen town, hubby asked around for directions to the nearest hot spring bathhouse open to the public since we don't want an overnight stay, we were told to walk along the road, cross the bridge and on the other side of the river there would be a few public hot springs. We did just that and walked, and walked, and walked, and thought to ourselves, what freakin' bridge were they talking about?!? And then we ran into this Takimibashi, which literally means Waterfall View Bridge the 2 kanjis in parenthesis mean "suspension bridge."

Even then, we still weren't sure if this is the bridge we were told about, but since we didn't see any other bridges, Takimibashi was it for us and we reluctantly crossed it. And what do you know, we got a really nice surprise waiting for us! Watch this video I took of the suspension bridge and its surrounding and see for yourself! You'll have to excuse the kid in me, it was such a cool sight I couldn't help going gaga :P

Yep, the bridge was literally suspended on wires, and when people walk it swings and rocks back and forth. Sounds freaky, but I don't have a fear of height, so I actually thought it was kind of fun ^.^

And the river underneath it has crystal clear water, so much I can see its riverbed where it's not too deep.

View to the right of the bridge.

View to the left of the bridge.

The weather up in Nikko and Kinugawa was definitely cooler than that in Tokyo, but it was still hot despite the cloudy day.

Looking back at Takimibashi from the other side.

Me on the other side of the bridge.
- Straw hat: Banana Republic
- Neck scarf: Express
- Shirt: Express
- Camisole: Aeropostale
- Purse: Nine West
- Belt: JCrew
- Jeans: homemade (by my aunt)
- Shoes: Crocs

View of the bridge from a small distance away.

Takimi Waterfall View Park


Julia said...

Reminds me of my visit to Nikko last summer, which was pretty craptastic.
We also stayed pretty close to the station (in a place called Nikko Park Lodge) and not only was the hostel weird, the receptionist was a complete b*tch. O.o
Then they sent us to an onsen somewhere in the middle of nothing at night (three girls) where we ended up taking a cab back to the hostel because it was freaking scary to walk in the middle of nowhere at night. ^^;

D. said...

Hi Julia,

Sorry to hear that your Nikko and hostel experience was crappy :( Nikko is tricky to navigate, and as much research as hubby, my sister and I thought we did, our first day there still turned out to be ho-hum, save for the this surprise bridge. The "onsen" we went to was a total disappointment :(

Thankfully, the hostel we stayed at was nice. Although the next time we go I think I'd rather book a ryokan with a private bath. It will be expensive, but better than wasting half a day walking around looking for an "onsen."


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