A vine bridge in the middle of nowhere

Posted by in Mike's blog

Today we ventured far, far away from our normal surroundings and routine.

Every Sunday is the same for us.  We wake up, clean, make breakfast, prepare a grocery list, review our budget, go grocery shopping, fill our car with gas, make lunch, try and fail at naptime for the kids, then go to church.

Every Tuesday my Japanese teacher asks me what we did on Sunday…and I always have the same response.  We realised this morning that we haven’t done anything different for almost 3 months – so instead of going to the grocery store, we drove into the mountains.

Our destination:  A vine bridge.

Mary had found a picture of the Kazura vine bridge (aka kazurabashi, or かずら橋) on a local tourism website.  We set course for Ikeda town.  It’s 40km from home, but it took us an hour to get there because of the mountains.  There’s a parking lot near the bridge for tourists like us.  Here’s a maps link.

Ikeda is the kind of place that isn’t on the way to anywhere else.  It’s quaint.  It’s mountainous.  It’s quite scenic, especially in the fall.  We reluctantly paid ¥300 each for the privilege of walking across the bridge as many times as our hearts desired.  The bridge itself is covered in vines but not supported by vines.  It’s a proper suspension bridge with concrete, steel and cables.  The vines just added to the scenery, though it was as wobbly as it looks.  The Bunny did not appreciate it when the bridge moved with every step.

After we crossed the bridge, we went for a little hike through the forest alongside the river that passes under the bridge.  Mary was overjoyed because hiking is her favourite non-chocolate related thing to do.  She happily wore the turtle through the trails while the Bunny and I followed.

The Kazura vine bridge & surrounding area is a fine place for a nature walks.  It’s most certainly on our top 20 list for cool places to go in Fukui prefecture.  I’m not sure if I can think of 19 other cool places – but we had a fun time!