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A famous photo spot with hidden wonders.

On the far west side of Yamaguchi Prefecture, there is an island that attracts a very specific kind of tourist: the Japanese bridge fanatics.

This island is hidden on the southwest of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Tsunoshima is connected to mainland Japan by the second-longest bridge in the country. Tsunoshima Bridge is 1,780-meters long and it is known for its perfectly straight length and then sloping curves. The bridge is famous not only as a great photo spot but also as a fantastic place for a scenic drive. Driving across the open water is an exhilarating experience.

However, Tsunoshima is not the only bridge in Yamaguchi that attracts a lot of tourists, there is also Kanmon Bridge in Shimonoseki, which  connects Yamaguchi and Kyushu. Another is Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, which is a popular symbol of the area.

Once you reach the other side you can look back upon the mainland from Amagase Forest Park. This beautifully Zen park is split into two sections, one at either end of the bridge. But there is more to do on the island than admiring the bridge. Tsunoshima has some beautiful, sub-tropical beaches that you can explore.

A long time ago, the island used to have functioning ports, but now people are free to swim in the turquoise water after exploring the mix of traditional Japanese and European architecture.  Moreover, the locals are very proud of the lighthouse on Tsunoshima’s island proper. Built 130 year ago, the lighthouse was one of the first ones in Japan and was constructed using Western building techniques.

Most Japanese tourists only come for the bridge and the population of the island numbers only 900, so you can often find secluded patches of nature. It’s a great place for those seeking an unusual, yet picturesque, getaway destination.

How To Get There


678-1 Hōhokuchō Ōaza Tsunoshima, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi-ken 759-5332, Japan

By train

Take the Tokaido-Sanyo bullet train  from Tokyo to Kokura (4 3/4 hours), then take the local train to Shimonoseki (15 min.). From there, take the San-yo line train to Kogushi (43 min.) and then the San-in train to Agawa (36 min.). From here you can walk to the bridge within an hour if you follow the road north east. 

By car

From Fukuoka Airport, take the Fukuoka City high-speed ring line from National Route 3 and exit at Enokida Tollhouse (5 min.), then take the Kyushu Expressway, Kanmon Bridge and Chugoku Expressway to National Route 491 in Shimokuki-cho, Shimonoseki City. Here you need to exit on to the highway (1 h 18 min), then continue on Route 491 to your destination.

By plane

Take a plane from Tokyo to Fukuoka Airport (1.5 hours) then take a car from the airport.

Where To Stay

Shimonoseki Onsen Hotel Nishi-Nagato Resort
  • 2045 Hohokucho Kanda, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi, 759-5331 Japan
  • ¥20,900 - ¥27,000
  • 4.21/5 (891 reviews)
  • 2.3 km

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