The Bridge and the Moon
Last year I went to Arashiyama with my family, I wanted to show them around Arashiyama area. It was April, just the perfect time to see cherry blossoms. I decided to go there by Hankyu train. The reason is that you can fully enjoy the view of Togetsukyo Bridge while you are heading for Arashiyama main street from the station. It was a radiant day that allowed us to enjoy the views of the Arashiyama Mountain. I told them that the bridge always looks different depending on the season you are visiting it. It was spring so we could see the Sakura blossoms. The trees transplanted to the mountain from Yoshino which is famous for their cherry trees.
The bridge marks the point where the Hozu River and the Oi river join and form the Katsura river. The original bridge was built in 200 meters upstream from the actual location, in 836. It was damaged by floods and wars over the years, so the actual bridge that you can cross over was built in 1934 made of concrete based on the original bridge.
The best time to cross the Togetsukyo Bridge is at night, because the bridge is illuminated thanks to the electric power that comes from the fast flowing stream.
Another reason to cross the river at night is to see the moon over the bridge. The actual name of the bridge was changed after the Emperor Kameyama (1249-1305) said that the bridge appeared to stretch to the moon. Do you remember the cherry trees that I talked about in the first part of the article? Those trees were transplanted by order of the Emperor Kameyama. He definitely saw the beauty of this spot and improved it.
After a long and magical day at Arashiyama, you should make some time during the night to enjoy the bridge. Take a deep breath and feel Arashiyama's clean air purifying your lungs while your ears enjoy the sound of the rapid stream hitting the pillars of the bridge. This is the magic of Arashiyama, you will never forget that moment on the bridge.