The Japanese Drum Bridge

The shinkyo bridge near Okazaki Castle: a wonderful example of a traditional Japanese drum bridge.

Japanese Bridges

There is something magical about the traditional Japanese bridges that arch over rivers. Whether the arch is extreme enough to require steps on the bridge, or only slight, they are all beautiful. I see them referred to as both taikobashi (Drum Bridge) and engetsukyo (Moon bridge) because taken with their reflection in the water, they form a round moon or drum shape.

Perhaps one of the most famous drum bridges in Japan is the Shinkyo (sacred) bridge in Nikko[1] You can read more about that bridge and see one of my photos of it here.

Near Okazaki Castle is a drum bridge. It has the same name as the famous one in Nikko: Shinkyo. I’m not sure if this is a common name for these bridges to use or if the builders of this one were trying to evoke the feeling of its more famous cousin. It does look very similar to the Nikko one, so maybe it’s the latter case.

Daily Photo: In Japan

I shot this with my wide-angle lens to really stretch out the bridge. I ran it through Lightroom and then applied a VSCO filter: Fuji FP–100c Negative++. The effect is very nice and muted for the bridge and trees, then is doing some crazy things to those clouds up in the sky. Crazy, but interesting.

The shinkyo bridge near Okazaki Castle


  1. More properly rendered in English letters as Shinkyō and Nikkō. The macron means you hold the vowel twice as long as usual.  ↩

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