Togetsukyo bridge’s history and the story of its name.

Togetsukyo Bridge

Togetsukyo bridge represent the landscape of Arashiyama. Viewing colored leaves from Togetsukyo bridge is a highlight for tourist in Kyoto for long time.

The name of Togetsukyo bridge means “moon passing bridge”, however, it is called Horinjikyo bridge originally. When it was started to be called “Togetsukyo” bridge? And why is it called “moon pass bridge”?

There is a romantic story. Let’s see it with the history.

It was called “Horinjikyo” bridge

The first bridge at this place was built in Heian period(794 – 1185) by Dosho who is a monk of Horinji temple near Arashiyama mountain.

The bridge was for this Horinji temple, so it was called Horinjikyo bridge.(“kyo” means “bridge” in Japanese)

This bridge was in 200 meter upstream of the place now you see.

The name “Togetsukyo” is from Emperor’s comment

In subsequent years, Kamakura period(1185-1333), Emperor Kameyama played with a boat at this place when the moon was full.

Emperor looked up this bridge and commented, “It’s like a full moon is passing through on the bridge at clear night.”

Then, people called it the bridge “Togetsu(moon passing) kyo(bridge)”.

Togetsukyo bridge has been built in many times

For a long time, Katsura river has been easy to flood. The bridge has been often broken by the floods and war. Then, the bridge have been rebuilded everytime.

The model of Togetsukyo bridge nowadays was built in 1606 BC by a merchant Suminokura Ryoi.

Togetsukyo bridge nowadays was built in 1934

Togetsukyo bridge that you can see nowadays was built in June 1934.

It looks built from wood, but only parapet is made from wood(Japanese cypress). Main structure is made from reinforced concrete so that it can also use for daily life for locals.

veiw of togetsukyo bridge

Over a thousand years, Togetsukyo bridge has been loved and repaired by people in Arashiyama. So we take delight in the view of Arashiyama’s nature from the bridge.

It was the story that you could love Togetsukyo bridge more.

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