Tsūjun Bridge – The largest stone bridge boasting Japan’s foremost beauty

Tsūjun Bridge

Introduction of Tsūjun Bridge

Tsūjun Bridge is a popular spot in Kumamoto that attracted 110,000 tourists in 2015.
Built in 1854 at the end of the Edo period, it is one of the largest stone arched aqueducts in Japan. It is 75.6m long, 6.3m wide and 20.2m high and is designated as a national important cultural property.

It was built mainly by Yasunosuke Fuda, a local Sojoya, but it is said that he gained a hint from the robust masonry technology of the stone walls at Kumamoto Castle .
And you can see the skill of Taneyama Mason, a Higo / Mason group since Kiyomasa Kato who built Kumamoto Castle .

Sightseeing Tsūjun Bridge

It is a waterway bridge built in the valley of the Gorogataki River, and its original role is to pass water to the Shiraito Plateau where water is not blessed, and it will be a waterway for watering to save people. .
In short, it is mainly a water channel for agricultural use, but the bridge has three stone pipes for drinking and irrigation, and it has been selected as one of the 100 Best Waterways by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

In addition, there are water outlets on both sides of the upper center of the bridge to remove mud and sand accumulated inside the stone pipe channel.
We could walk on foot, but there is no fence on the bridge.
But there was no fall accident.

The water source supplied to the Tsūjun Bridge is lower than the bridge, and the Shiraito Plateau to which water is distributed is higher than the bridge.
It is considered to be the first fountain pipe (reverse siphon) bridge realized using Japan’s proprietary technology to distribute water to a high position without using power.
It is surprising that there was a technology at the end of the Tokugawa period that prevented air from leaking from the seam of a stone water pipe.
Below is a statue of Funo Yasunosuke.


However, I know that it was a marvelous technology that did not collapse in the Kumamoto earthquake that occurred on April 14, 2016, but water leaks began to occur, such as cracks in the stone bridge and stones protruding outside. Was.
For this reason, the area around Tsūjun Bridge is currently out of bounds and renovation work was underway.
However, as shown in the picture, there is no water discharge, but you can see the bridge from a distance.

IMG_7019During construction, a temporary “visit place" is set up on the hillside of Iwao Castle, and it is also possible to see the Tsūjun Bridge from a high place by climbing 5 minutes to the roadside station, Tsūjun Bridge or the mountain .
It is said that the tour site will be removed as soon as the construction is completed, but if possible, we want you to keep it.

There is also the Tsūjun Bridge Historical Museum at the roadside station, Tsūjun Bridge.

By the way, if the planned water discharge is to be resumed, it is expected that it will start at 13:00 on a fixed day, mainly on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
However, water is required for irrigation of farmland from early May to late July every year, and water discharge is suspended from December to March to prevent freezing of stone.
The scheduled water discharge date for the year will be disclosed on the website of “Yamatocho Tourism Navigator" and “Yamatocho Tourism Association".

There are plenty of Tsūjun sake breweries, rice terraces and gorogataki falls, so it is recommended to take a walk around Iwao Castle while feeling the history.

Transportation to the Tsūjun Bridge

Directions and access to Tsūjun Bridge are about 80 minutes by bus from Kumamoto Kotsu Center.
It is convenient to stop the parking lot at the Tsūjun Bridge bridge at the roadside station.
Map of Tsūjun Bridge