This Japanese Bridge Was Featured in a Famous Novel
You can visit during any season and still take breathtaking photos.
Over the Azusa River, Kamikochi, Azumi, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture
Open from mid-April to November 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
No admission charge
Contact: +81-263-95-2433 (Kamikochi Information Center)
Kappa Bridge first became known for appearing in Kappa, a famous novel written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, one of the most famous novelists from the early 20th Century in Japan. Meant to be a satire of society, the novel takes place in the fictional world “Kappaland,” where the hero of the story goes astray. It is said that Ryunosuke Akutagawa faithfully described the sceneries in the novel as he actually climbed Mt. Yarigatake in 1909.
While it’s not clear whether Kappa Bridge had already existed when the author wrote the novel even if there is a monologue in the preface of the novel saying, “I remember that there is a Kappa bridge next to the hot spring house in the Kamikochi,” or even if the bridge was named after the publication of the novel, but one thing is for sure, the surroundings of the Azusa River left a deep impression on Akutagawa.
The views, after all, are stunning. Mt. Hotakatake and Mt. Yakedake can be seen from the bridge, and visitors can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the seasons there. The dazzling snow remaining on Mt. Hotakatake during Golden Week, the mountains covered with deep green trees during the summer, and the red leaves in autumn are particularly popular with visitors.
Although the area around the Azusa River has become a popular spot for travelers, it was a quiet place surrounded by mountains when he wrote the novel. It may be pleasant to read Kappa while thinking of the scenery during that time after you visit the Kappa Bridge.
Provided by Japan Walker™ and Tokyo Walker™ (14 November 2017)