The next best thing to Moon River - Arashiyama’s Moon Crossing Bridge.
Built over Kyoto’s former commerce center along the Oi River, the timeless Togetsukyo Bridge – which literally translates to “Moon-Crossing Bridge” – is Arashiyama’s scenic landmark straight from a ukiyo-e painting.
With a backdrop of fall foliage and full-blown cherry blossoms in the spring, this emblematic structure spans 155 meters – as if the wooden path would literally stretch to the moon.
The poetic name was in fact inspired by the Emperor Kameyama, who witnessed a luminous moon rising above the upper reaches of the river, appearing as though the moon itself was crossing the bridge.
Still standing and fully functional for everyday use, Togetsukyo Bridge dates back over 1,000 years with the first construction completed in 836. While the original wooden arches were apparently vermillion-colored and situated 200 meters upstream from its present post, it was repeatedly damaged by floods. This cycle of wipeout and restoration finally ceased with the present-day concrete construction of the bridge in 1934.
A short stroll across the bridge will lead you to a small pier full of rental boats. Make like the nobles and courtesans of the flourishing Heian period and take an enchanting cruise down the river with the iconic bridge in view.