Togetsukyo is a 155-meter bridge built across the Katsura River, which flows leisurely through Saga Arashiyama, a well-known place of scenic beauty in the western hills of Kyoto. The artistic form of the bridge embodies the aesthetic sense that is at the heart of the Japan artistic tradition.
The bridge is a popular location for historic films
Cormorant fishing is done in the vicinity of the bridge during summer nights
It can be accessible by train.
Take the JR Sagano/San-in Main Line from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station.
Alternatively, take the Keifuku Line/Arashiyama Main Line to Arashiyama Station. From there it is a one minute walk to the bridge.
The name Togetsu, or “moon crossing,” stems from a tale involving the Kamakura Period Emperor Kameyama. During a boating party under a full moon, the emperor felt that the moon looked like it was crossing the bridge. The first bridge was undertaken in 836, but the current construction was built in 1934. Although the bridge appears to have been built of wood, it actually has columns and beams made of reinforced concrete. Only the parapets are constructed from cypress. There are a number of souvenir shops at the foot of the bridge, while rickshaws go back and forth, creating an atmosphere that harkens traditional Japan.
Arashiyama is the name given to the mountain south of the bridge, which rises to an altitude of 375 meters. Its tree-covered slopes take on the pink hue of cherry blossoms in spring, and are alternately covered by red maple leaves during autumn. Under the snows of winter, the mountain looks as if it were in an ink landscape painting. The seasonal changes of the mountain scenery move visitors anew at any time of year.