Kokonoe Yume Otsuribashi is one of the longest suspension bridges for pedestrians in Japan with a total length of 390m. It is located in the mountains of Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, and has already been visited by 11 million visitors so far. They come here for the exhilarating feeling of walking high over the valley and the amazing views.
Number One Bridge
The bridge was opened in 2006, after 2.5 years of construction. The total cost was 2 billion yen. The bridge was built by a private company without any support from the national or local government. It is a very strong bridge and it is safe for 1,800 people to walk on the bridge at the same time.
With its length of 390 meters, the area’s altitude of 777 meters, and a height from the ground of 173 meters, the bridge was Japan’s record holder for all three. Unfortunately for Oita prefecture, the bridge has since given up its number 1 status when it comes to length has after the Mishima Sky Walk in Shizuoka Prefecture near Hakone was constructed in 2015, which is 10 meters longer than Kokonoe Bridge. But Kokonoe still remains Japan’s number one regarding the height of the location of the bridge, and the height of the bridge from the ground.
The area around the bridge is called Narukogawa Valley, which is a very scenic area. The waterfalls of Shindo-no-taki consist of two parts, Odaki (male waterfall) and Medaki (female waterfall). Odaki is 83 meters high and Medaki is 93 meters high. You can see these waterfalls when you walk on the bridge.
Walking on the bridge is a bit thrilling, which makes it a fun place to visit for those who like some excitement. The width is only 1.5 meters and there are slits. If you stand in the middle of the path, you can look down the valley through them. But if you walk on the side it is fully covered, so it is not too scary to cross the bridge. As you have to come back to the entrance to get off the bridge, if you don’t feel comfortable you should not go too far.
It is not too easy to go there, but it is worth visiting. The name of the bridge includes the word ‘yume’, which means dream. The name was publicly solicited and they got about 6,000 applications. It is like a dream to cross one of the longest bridges with amazing views. But be careful if you have acrophobia because you may get bad dreams at night after crossing this bridge.
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Access: From Bungo-Nakamura Station (JR Line), take community bus to Otsuribashi-Nakamuraguchi (大吊橋中村口) bus stop
Entrance: Adults (over 15) 500 yen / Elementary school students 200 yen
Hours: From August to October 8.30 am – 6 pm, From November to July 8.30 – 5 pm