Bridge in Arashiyama & Sagano

The dominant landmark in Arashiyama, this bridge is just a few minutes on foot from either the Keifuku line or Hankyū line Arashiyama stations. The original crossing, constructed in 1606, was about 100m upriver from the present bridge. From July to mid-September, Togetsu-kyō is a good spot from which to watch ukai (cormorant fishing) in the evening. To get close to the action you can join a passenger boat, the Kyoto Tourist Information Center can provide more details.

On 13 April jūsan-mairi, an important rite of passage for local children aged 13, takes place here. Boys and girls (many in kimono), after paying respects at Hōrin-ji (a nearby temple) and receiving a blessing for wisdom, cross the bridge under strict parental order not to look back towards the temple until they’ve reached the northern side of the bridge. Not heeding this instruction is believed to bring bad luck for life!

You can rent boats from the boat-rental stall just upstream from the bridge. It’s a nice way to spend some time in Arashiyama and kids love it.