After leaving Kochi, I was back on the road to the main island. Shikoku was done and dusted (sort-of, I still want to explore more) — and I went to my Japanese family in Hiroshima. It was so lovely to be welcomed back into their home and feel a bit homey. I’d missed that a bit.
Last time I was in Hiroshima, I was there for a week and I explored the whole city. This time I had only 3 days in Hiroshima, and it was the weekend, so me and my Japanese mom and dad went road trippin’ for a few days! Today I’m looking back to the scorching hot day in Iwakuni!
The Kintai-kyo bridge is definitely worth a visit. It’s a beautiful wooden bridge with 5 arches. Originally this long, magnificent bridge could only be crossed by samurai. These days, the river it spans has been reduced to a trickle, and anyone willing to fork over the admission can go back and forth as they please. The 210m original was built in 1673 using only wood, but the present structure is a 1953 reconstruction — as with much of Iwakuni.
What I thought was really funny about this castle is that, although the original castle only stood for seven years, there was excuse enough for a reconstruction during the 1960s. And what’s better: the foundations of the original lie a short distance behind the new one. You can walk up there. Apparently the builders decided to move it closer to the cliff for scenic purposes. And to that, tip my hat. Well done, Japan!