Tsujun Bridge

A masterpiece of the Edo Era. Japan’s largest stone arch aqueduct

The spectacular sight of water being released from this splendid arched bridge created from stone and mortar, is something not to be missed. Tsujun Bridge is an aqueduct ingeniously built by our forebears that has miraculously survived since a century ago.
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Please check the schedule on the homepage to find out the days when the water will be released
Yamatocho, Kamimakishigun, Kumamoto


A stone aqueduct which saved a people from drought

Tsujun Bridge is Japan’s largest stone arch aqueduct built in the Edo Era and is known as the nation’s only bridge which can release water. In 1854, a head of a village by the name of Yasunosuke Futa, in his endeavor to bring water to the rice paddies of Shiraito Plateau which were suffering from not having enough water, gathered stonemasons and their techniques to create a stone bridge which has been called the finest example of technological might at the end of the Edo Era. In 1960, the bridge was registered nationally as an Important Cultural Property. While the aqueduct is 124m long, the length of the bridge is 75.6m and it stands 20.2m high with a width of 6.3m. The radius of the arch is 27.6m. Water is drawn from the Sasahara River 6km away over the 30km of the extension for the aqueduct to irrigate the paddies over an area of 100ha, a sight that hasn’t changed in over 100 years. The upper part of the bridge has been laid with 3 stone aqueducts making use of siphoning, and throughout an entire day, 15,000 square meters of water are supplied to the paddies.

The incredible release of water

The release of the water from the upper portion of the bridge has become a tourist attraction, and in the past it was done once a year to remove any sediment that built up in the aqueducts. This is a trait of Tsujun Bridge that has continued to be active today. Currently, water is released only between August-November and April-early May for a period of 20 minutes starting from 1pm. However since this is not a daily custom, it’s recommended to check with the schedule listed on the official website. You can walk on top of the bridge and since there are no handholds, there is a thrilling element to the walk. As well, you can take a look over the bridge when the water is released so that you can feel another type of thrill. There is also the Tsujun Bridge Museum where valuable tools and information from that time are on display, as well as a statue of Yasunosuke Futa near the bridge.

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