Tucked away in the mountains of the very beautiful Aya Town in Kyushu’s Miyazaki Prefecture you will find the famous Teruha Suspension Bridge (照葉大吊橋). Meant to be the world’s longest suspension bridge devoted only to pedestrian traffic when it was built 1984 the claim to fame turned out to be rather difficult to prove, despite the huge stone boldly laying claim to just this fact. A few years later an even longer suspension bridge was built to the north of Miyazaki prefecture, in Oita prefecture and so the people of Aya could not even lay claim to at least having the longest suspension bridge in Japan or even in Kyushu. Still, the bridge is rather impressive and I was lucky to visit it when there were almost no other tourists around. Aya Town is also famous for it’s castle (previously blogged about here) and craft village, as well as rather good home grown wine.
The Teruha bridge is 250m long and 142m tall at it’s highest point above Honjougawa river, and doesn’t rock quite as much as you’d imagine. On the other side of the bridge lies the entrance to a national park aiming to preserve the natural forests of Kyushu, as they looked before the introduction of tree farming after the second world war. More photos to come of Aya and the national park!
A couple of months ago I mentioned on the blog how I had visited Kamikochi National Park in Nagano Prefecture, north of Tokyo. Here are some photos from this trip, more specifically some of the wildlife I met walking around Taishoike, the lower parts of the river that is the centre of the national park. Due to it’s high elevation, it remains pretty cool even in the summer and nights tend to get chilly, as I discovered trying to sleep rough on the way up there to save on hotel money. As with all Japanese national parks, it is not the most tiring of hikes, easily enjoyed even for the elderly and children. I guess the Japanese perception of nature plays in here: no matter how much we wish to preserve nature, there’s a few vending machines even here! Still, for a long weekend out of Tokyo, it is hard to beat in terms of sheer beauty! Entrance is free but the ride there can get very expensive.