Hey! I’m back with another travel post. Earlier this year I went all the way to Hiroshima. It was around the same time when the sakura bloomed. I googled best place to see sakura in Hiroshima and I found out about Iwakuni. I think Iwakuni is already in different prefecture from Hiroshima, but it’s only around 1hour train ride from Hiroshima and can be visited as a side trip from Hiroshima. Iwakuni is famous for it’s Kintaikyo and if you visit Iwakuni in spring, you won’t be disappointed with Iwakuni Kintaikyo cherry blossoms.
I went to Hiroshima from Tokyo by plane. After I left my stuffs at the hotel, me and my boyfriend we took the train to Iwakuni. You can either go with Shinkansen and stop at Shin-Iwakuni, or just take a local train to Iwakuni for 760yen. The entire trip was around 50 minutes and the famous Miyajima is located between Hiroshima and Iwakuni.
Because I visited during the sakura season, the view from the train was quite nice. The weather was not that sunny but it was not raining so bad either.
Iwakuni used to be an important city during the Edo Period. This city is famous for it’s Kintaikyo (bridge) and the place is really pretty during the spring.
Kintaikyo has been a famous sightseeing spot in Iwakuni. The wooded bridge makes perfect 5 arches to the pillar stone across the Nishiki River. The bride was built around 1890-ish and it was destroyed by a typhoon in 1950, and then it was rebuilt again.
To get to Kintaikyo, you need to take a bus from Iwakuni or Shin-Iwakuni station. The bus is quite frequent and it costs around 200yen for 20-minutes ride to Kintaikyo.
We need to pay 300yen to cross the bridge. You can also opt for 940yen which include the ropeway to Iwakuni Castle on top of the mountain. However, because the weather was not so good back then, we skipped the castle. It was so foggy and even if we did go to the mountain top, we can’t enjoy the scenery.
The best time to visit Kintaikyo is spring, because across the bridge, there are a lot of sakura trees and you can just spent whole day there enjoying the scenery.
After you crossed the bridge, you can find a statue of Kikkawa Hiroyuki, the man who started the construction of the bridge. Behind this statue, you can find Kikko Park, a spacious park with various flowers and a lot of fountains.
There’s a various place inside the park that you can visit including Iwakuni Art Museum, former samurai residence, Kikko shrine and the famous white (albino) snake. This snake is quite special to the local and they believe that the white snake will bring a good fortune.
I don’t have much time in Iwakuni because I was going to Miyajima in the afternoon, so we skipped those places and just enjoy the scenery in the park.
The park is really big. We walked until the back of the park and find the way around Mekata residence and Kikko Shrine. We did not get into the shrine tho, just walked around the area.
As for Mekata Residence, it used to be a mid-level samurai and people cannot enter the residence. However, you can see around the place and it was already beautiful.
I was unlucky, I guess… the weather was not so good and I did not have so much time to spent in Iwakuni because we’re planning to see Miyajima before it goes dark. However, during our short period there, we really enjoy the scenery. It was so pretty seeing the bridge and sakura.
On top of that, the place is not so touristy either compared to Hiroshima. Sure, there was a lot of people because it was the weekend, but you can still walk around and take picture without bumping with other people.
I totally recommend you to visit Iwakuni if you go to Hiroshima, especially if you visit Japan in spring. You can reach Iwakuni with public transport and it won’t cost you so much. My only suggestion if you go to Iwakuni is don’t look for food in the station. It’s better to go to Kintaikyo directly and go for food there. You will find a lot of option compared to the area near the station.
Next post, I’m going to write about Miyajima, which is also known as the most 3 beautiful scenery in Japan. See you at the next post and as usual, you comments are always loved <3