The grand sum of trial and error on the way to a bridge that wouldn’t be washed away
The Nishiki River was selected to be a moat to protect a castle. However, the Nishiki which was 200m in width often overflowed its banks and would wash away any bridge due to flooding from time to time. This worsened the effect on the administration of the clan living there. But the Kintai Bridge with its width of 5m and 5 continuous arches with a length of 93m was something that was unique even in the world. Arched bridges had a structure which further increased their strength greatly from the pressure at the top of the bridge due to sturdy construction techniques. From the river beach of the Nishiki when you see the underside of the bridge, you can view the beauty in the dynamic construction. Also the streamlined abutment that goes against the stream has the effect of lightening the water pressure, and the paving stones laid out in the surrounding area provides reinforcement for the base of the abutment. Even now, any flooding during downpours goes as high as the upper part of the abutment, and if any sunny weather continues, the river beach dries up becoming a parking lot.
Events evoking the history of the Edo Era and the beauty of the four seasons are attractive points
The most beautiful season is the spring. 3000 cherry trees are reflected on the river surface which then surround Kintai Bridge. You can board pleasure boats known as Sakura Boats to enjoy the view of the river. Annually on April 29th, the Kintai Bridge Festival is held. The main event of the festival is the Daimyo (feudal lord) Procession that resembles the Sankin Kotai (the system of alternate attendance) during the Edo Era. Approximately 60 people playing parts of the lord of the castle and his wife and other characters parade over Kintai Bridge and through the streets of the castle town. Also, performances with matchlocks by the gun corps of the Iwakuni feudal clan are spectacles to behold. 20 armored archers appear on the river beach below Kintai Bridge, and under the squad leader’s orders, the roaring sounds of the matchlocks resound in the area. In the summer, cormorant fishing for ayu (sweetfish) can be observed and the illuminated bridge can be viewed while riding yakatabune. The August fireworks festival has 6000 fireworks firing up into the night sky with the incredible spectacle being reflected on the river surface. Kintai Bridge and the colors of autumn are also lovely. The snowscapes of the bridge are superb scenes that can only be seen several times a year.