While the Taishakukyo Valley has many natural wonders, the Onbashi Bridge is by far its most impressive and popular. Formed over millennia, Japan's largest natural bridge is a 40-meter-high limestone span above the Taishaku River.
Before the process of erosion, the rock formation was a dam for the Taishaku River
It is one of the three largest natural bridges in the world
Onbashi Bridge is a 30-minute walk from the Taishakukyo Gorge parking area. The parking area is a 20-minute drive from JR Tojo Station.
If you're interested in traveling in style, you can take a horse-drawn sightseeing tour to the bridge from the Taishaku Provincial Museum. Tours are available from spring to fall.
In days long past, locals believed the bridge had been forged by supernatural forces. Visiting the site, it's easy to see why.
The bridge was once used for transportation, both as a pedestrian crossing and for horse carts. Though no longer a functioning bridge, there are various paths that go right underneath it, allowing you a chance to view the naturally sculpted structure at your leisure.
Onbashi translates as "male bridge" and its smaller counterpart, Mebashi, means "female bridge." Mebashi is a bit further downriver.
While the bridge attracts tourists year-round, it's more difficult to reach in winter. Peak season is in the spring and fall when the surrounding flowers and trees are showing their seasonal colors.