The Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni was originally built in 1673 and its 210 m span was completed without the use of a single nail! It crosses the Nishiki River to Mt. Yokoyama. Atop Mt. Yokoyama sits Iwakuni Castle which was built in 1601 by the first Lord of the Iwakuni domain. For a time, only Samurai were allowed the use of the bridge while others crossed the river on foot. The structure has 5 wooden arches built on 4 stone piers and two wooden ones. Mistakenly thought impervious to typhoon flooding when first constructed, the bridge has been washed away and rebuilt many times since. For those wishing a peek into the past of this colorful and traditional society, Kintai Bridge will surely foot the bill.
Iwakuni is also the sight of a yearly much celebrated Cherry Blossom Festival, which attracts locals and tourists alike to enjoy the beautiful red hues of the ubiquitous cherry blossom trees that signal spring has sprung in Iwakuni. Another attraction here is a museum dedicated entirely to the “White Snake” a strain of albino snake indigenous to this region only. There is a reverence for this animal held by locals that might puzzle us Westerners, but it is quite refreshing and heartwarming to experience.