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Photo By: PIXTA/TOSHI.K
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Nagasaki
Population
1,516,536

Meganebashi Bridge

Constructed out of stone in 1634, this double-arched bridge spans the Nakashima River and is one of several stone bridges built around this time.

By Elizabeth Sok

The origin of Meganebashi Bridge starts at the nearby Kofuku-ji Temple. Built in the 1620s by Chinese merchants who were increasingly coming to the city for trade, this temple reflected the needs of the growing Chinese community. A new head monk took up leadership of the temple in the 1630s and ordered the construction of Meganebashi Bridge to facilitate easier access to the site. Constructed out of stone in 1634, this double-arched bridge spans the Nakashima River and is one of several stone bridges built around this time.

Meganebashi’s arches appear to be a pair of glasses when reflected on the water’s surface, hence its name which translates to glasses bridge. As the oldest stone bridge in Japan, it has faced its fair share of calamities including an earthquake that destroyed it in the 17th century and severe flooding in 1982 that heavily damaged it. Fortunately, it was rebuilt using many of its original stones and stands today as a pedestrian-only bridge.

Chinese Lantern Festival

Megane Bashi

Photo by: PIXTA/ kazukiatuko See the historic bridge illuminated by streaming lights and floating displays on the river.

Every year for the first 15 days of the Chinese New Year, Chinatown and the surrounding area, including Meganebashi Bridge, are covered in a sea of brilliant lights and floats. Like Kofuku-ji Temple and the bridge, this festival is also a product of the influx of Chinese migrants to the area who wanted a way to celebrate the New Year holidays. In addition to lion dances and acrobatic performances, visitors will be able to enjoy the historic bridge illuminated by streaming lights and floating displays on the river.

Hydrangea Festival

Meganebashi

Photo by: PIXTA/ kattyan Alongside the reflected spectacles, you’ll see hundreds of hydrangeas blooming against cloudy skies.

Held annually in May and June, the Nagasaki Otakusa Festival celebrates the city’s flower, the hydrangea. The event also honors the work of German physician and botanist, Philipp Franz von Siebold, who was stationed at Dejima during Japan’s so-called era of seclusion. While living in Japan, he carefully documented the flora and fauna that differed from those of his homeland and introduced Europeans to many plants and flowers native to Japan.

Among these are a variety of hydrangeas which he named after his wife, Otakusa. Displays are organized throughout the city at Glover Garden, Dejima and along the riverside at Meganebashi Bridge. Alongside the reflected spectacles, you’ll be able to see hundreds of hydrangeas in various colors blooming against the cloudy skies of the rainy season.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

The bridge is open 24 hours a day and is free to use.

How To Get There

Address

By train

Take tram line numbers 4 or 5 and get off at Meganebashi Bridge. The site will be a short walk away.

Where To Stay

Hotel Forza Nagasaki
  • 4-11 Hamamachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0853 Japan
  • ¥5,225 - ¥32,300
  • 4.33/5 (2,356 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Hotel H2 Nagasaki
  • 5-11 Tsukimachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0877 Japan
  • ¥5,900 - ¥29,300
  • 4.37/5 (658 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
Station Hotel Nagasaki Suwa
  • 159-2 Kaminishiyamamachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0006 Japan
  • ¥7,500 - ¥22,200
  • 4.08/5 (136 reviews)
  • 0.7 km
Candeo Hotels Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown
  • 3-12 Dozamachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0841 Japan
  • ¥11,800 - ¥47,400
  • 4.42/5 (1,027 reviews)
  • 0.7 km
Nagasaki IK Hotel
  • 7-17 Ebisumachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0056 Japan
  • ¥6,930 - ¥24,200
  • 3.29/5 (675 reviews)
  • 0.7 km

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