Welcome to Yawata City !

The Coat of Arms of
Yawata City@

The two pigions which simbolize peace in a
circle of a bamboo.

The Bridges of Yawata City in Kyoto Prefecture

( 1 )

Kôzuya Bridge ( "Nagare Bashi" ) in Yawata
City, Kyoto Prefecture : 356 meters long,
3.3 meters wide. It is a wooden bridge.

( 3 )

Here, you can see Mt. Fuji in the background,
which is frequently used as a backdrop in
movies,you can not actually see Mt. Fuji in Kyoto.

This bridge is a very popular location for
shooting films. The bridge has been crossed by
many personages like vice shogun Mito Kômon,
shogunate policeman Nakamura Mondo, and
other persons acted by actors and actresses in
many movies.

( 6 )

Ango Bashi Bridge in Yawata city, Kyoto

( 2 )

The Festival of Period Plays
" Jidaigeki Matsuri " at the Nagare-bashi

( 4 )

After Typhoon No.PP, which hit Kyoto area on
August 4th 2004, crossing the bridge
was not permitted, because the water level was
too high.

Garbage, twigs, weed were deposited
on top of the bridge due to the force of the
currents, causing much damage.
The bridge@was repaired and was reopened to
the traffic on 21st April, 2005.

( 5 )

This is a close-up of the sign indicating that
the bridge is closed because of the
high water level due to the typhoon

( 7 )

There is a modern bridge named
" Kizugawa Ôhashi Bridge near
Nagare Bashi Bridge.
The Kôzuya-bashi bridge across the Kizu-gawa river connencts Kumiyama-cho in Jôyô city with
Yawata city in the Kyoto Prefecture. It is a wooden bridge 356 meters long and 3.3 meters wide.
The bridge was hit by typhoon No.22 on August 2004. The wooden floor plates were washed aside
to the river sides and is now under repair, forbidding transit.

The bridge is one of the longest wooden bridges in Japan second only to the 897-meter long
Hôrai-kyo Bridge across Ôigawa River in Shimada city, Shizuoka Prefecture, which was declared
as the longest wooden bridge in the world by the the book of Guinness World Records .

When the river is flooded, the wooden floor will be devided into eight sections which become afloat
and wash aside to one side of the river without going against the force of the current to evade the
total destruction of the bridge. The wooden floor will not be washed away because each section of
the floor is tied to the piers with wire ropes. This type of bridge is called Nagare-bashi. There are
some Nagare-bashi bridges in Japan. In the Okayama Prefecture, the Kangetsu-kyo " Moon viewing
bridge " across the Oda River in Yakake-cho, Oda-gun and some other bridges are the Nagare-
bashi bridges.

In the pictures No.4 and No.5, the wooden floor of the bridge was not afloat yet but the water level
was high up and it was very dangerous to cross the bridge and its transit was prohibited.

Although the total destruction of the bridge can be evaded, some piers have been detroyed when
the water current was strong. Some piers close to the river-side of the Yawata city were made of
ferroconcrete. After 1953 when it was constructed, the bridge has been damaged sixteen times.
Now, it must be more economical to have a ferro-concrete bridge built as the labor cost is very

Ironically, the wooden bridge was constructed however, due to shortage of the budget of Kyoto
Prefecture. Many people believe that the bridge was originally built a few centuries ago, because
the bridge will be a site of the movie location for samurai plays. The bridge, however, was built in
1953 after the ferry boat services were closed in 1951. The idea of the afloat bridge was not new.

In 1966, modern Kizugawa Ôhashi Bridge which is a part of the National Highway No.1 was built,
but it is situated at about two kilometers down-stream the river and the wooden bridge has not lost
yet its practical value as a bridge. Beside its practical use, people do not want to lose the
bridge and also the movies studios in Kyoto.

The bridge is only for pedestrians, bicycles and motorcyclists, and automobiles are not permitted
to cross the bridge. To cross on hrose back ??  I 'm not sure about it. Perhaps it may be permitted
to cross the bridge on horse back. The bridge will remind us of the wisdom of Japanese people
and their efforts to fight against the natural disasters.

The bridge is across the Kizugawa river with its origin in the Mie prefecture which joins the two other
rivers, Ujigawa river from Biwa Lake and the Katsuragawa River from@Arashiyama and becomes
the Yogo-gawa River to flow into Osaka Prefecture. Across the river, there is Ten-nôzan mountain
where Akechi Mitsuhide was defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi who would unify Japan later.

The Yodo-gawa river flows into Osaka city to become Ôkawa River which is devided at the central
island Nakanoshima to Tosabori-gawa River and Dôjima River which gets together at the other end
of the island and will be devided again to Ajigawa River and Kizugawa River.

The Kizugawa river which loses its name upstream will recover it at the place near Osaka Bay.
Near Osaka Bay, there is a bridge called "the New Kizugawa Ôhashi Bridge " across the Kizugawa
River. There is a bridge called the Kizugawa Ôhashi Bridge upstream in Yawata city.

( 8 )

New Nizugawa Ôhashi Bridge
( Shin Kizugawa Ôhashi Bridge)

( 9 )

The Osaka Municipal Government has a plan of "Tecno Port Osaka" to turn the Osaka Bay Area
to the center of Foreign trade, advanced high technology and information and comunication together
with the urban multi-funtions of cultural, recretional, living facilities. The bridge was built for these
objectives to have the loop high way in West-southern area of the city to facilitate the delivery of
the merchandise and ease the conjestion of the traffic.

The bridge, situated at the mouth of the river, was intended to have 150 meter width and 46 meter
hight to let ships navigate through the river. The bridge has, therefore, the 305 meter long central
span without any supporting pier in the river and it is 2.4 kilometers long in total.

The bridge is composed of the central main bridge and lateral aproaching bridges on both sides.
The continuous 3 section floor is made of steel and the bridge has the balanced arch.

The aesthetic aspects of the cnetral main bridge were taken into consideration besides the
economical cost of the construction and its feaseability. The bridge is the largest one for this
type and is one of representative bridges in Osaka.

In 1907, at the south of Osaka, Hamadera in Sakai city, the largest bathing beach in Japan was
opened. The two tram-car railways connecting the center of Osaka city with Hamadera were
built. The rich people had houses and cottages in Hamadera. Children of Osaka went to the
Hamadera beach to bathe and swim by the "chin chin" tram-car. The tram-car had a bell with
a hammer which striked the bell, when the hammer was pulled by a string, producing non-
mechanical pleasing sound of "chin chin ". The beach was crowded by one million bathers
in summer.

( 10 )

The pine forest in Hamadera

In 1961, after the Second World War, the Hamadera
Beach was closed, because the Sakai Senboku
Industrial Zone Project was taking shape. At those
times, the primary school had not a swimming pool.
As far as I remember, the middle school had a swimming
pool already. A few private-owned swimming pools were
opened in 1950's. The municipal public pools in each]ward
(ku) were opened in 1960's.

Children in Osaka were quite at a loss without having no
beach for bathing. Children in the east and the north of
Osaka went to the Kizu-gawa river to swim. The Keihan
Railway Company opened the bathing place at the shallow
river bed. Yawata is a beautiful place with many historic
heritages, but it had not many visitors except for the festival
days at the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine at the top of Otokoyayama Mountain and on the New Year Days. The Yawata Station was crowded, however, in summer with many bathers.

The Hamadera Beach and the adjacent beaches were called "Takashi-no Hama" in ancient times
nd its scenic beauty of  "Green pipne trees on white sand beach " were admired in many poems
composed by emperors, noblemen and eminent poets.

Ôkubo Toshimichi
( painted by the Italian
painter Edoardo

In 1873, Ôkubo Toshimichi, minister of Home Affairs happened
to visit the Hamadera beach, and was surprised to see people
cutting pine trees to raise fund to help former samurai who
became jobless. He immediately ordered them to stop cutting
pine trees. About 1,500 pine trees were saved by him.

The government issued the decree to make the beach to be
a public park. It was the first public park in Japan. Now, there
are 5,500 pine trees in the Hamadera park in Sakai City and
Takaishi City.

At the entrance of the park, there is a monument dedicated to
Ôkubo Toshimichi who saved the pine trees from destruction
with the poem he composed :

      " Even the wellknown pine tree beach of Takashi-no Hama,

         can hardly resist the wicked waves of the world "

In 1885, the Nankai Electric Railway Co.,Ltd., independent from the state-owned railways, was founded. In 1897, the Hankai Tramway Co.,Ltd. was established. Actually, it was called at first " the Osaka Tramway of the carriages Pulled by Horses Co.,Ltd. The services of railway with cars pulled by horses were in operation during about ten years. The south of Osaka was linked with central and northern areas of Osaka. Many rich Osakans had residences in the Sumiyoshi-ku near the Hmadera Beach. It is now a high society residential area.

In 1948, the Hamadera Park was occupied by the American Occupation Forces. The park was
surrounded with barb-wired fences with the sign of "No Japanese nationals allowed". Inside
the fence, there were movie theaters, tennis courts, and the beach bacame like that of Santa
Monica. " We could see through the fences an opulent " Little America". They did not cut many
pine trees. The area was large enough for them to live in without cutting many pine trees.

In 1952, Japan became independant. The Hamadera Beach was returned little by little to the
Japanese government. In 1958, the beach was completely returned to Japan. In 1957, the Plan
of Sakai Senboku Industrial Zone had been made alrerady. In 1959,Yawata Steel became the
first company to have their factory into operation in the Zone.

In 2003, the output of the industrial products in the industrial zone with less than 20,000 workers
amounted to 1,720,000 million yen. The park with 5,500 pine trees has been preserved but in front
of the park, across 200 meter long artificial water-way, you can see the man-made island with many
sky-scraping structures of heavy industry.

The sakai-borned poet Yosano Akiko composed the following poems in the Meiji era.

      "The silhouette of the Izumi Mountains is clear,

       The morning breeze comes from the floating sea."

( Notes : The sea seemed to be floatingf for the poet. The scenic beauty is
lost now due to scry-craping giant struction on the coast and on the
artificial island. )

       "The Home of my dear parents,

        where I was raised and became a maiden,

        counting the sounds of the waves

        which washed against the beach"

( Notes : We can not hear the sounds of waves. The shallow sea
was destroyed. )

"The wicked waves of the world " as the poets said, was the industrialization which started
fifteen years after the defeat of Japan in the Second World War.

The Hamadera Park has become a complex of the parks with barbecue places, tennis
courts, ball game parks, go-cart and miniature tren tracks, rose garden, and cherry blossom
in spring and swmming pool. The park has 2.5 million visitors every year.

Yamazaki is a town situated at the place where three rivers become to be one river. Saito
Dôsan was born in Yamazaki in the period of civil wars. His career is very interesting. His
father was a amurai who guarded the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. When he was eleven years
old, he was sent to the Myôkaku-ji Temple and he was named "Hôrenbo". He left the temple
and married a daughter of a merchant of vegitable oil for lighting. He was named Yamazaki

He frequently went to the province of Mino ( Now Gifu prefecture ) to sell oil. He made the most
of bthe turbulent situation there and became a ruler of the province of Mino. He built Inaba
Castle at the Kinkazan mountain.

The Kôzuya Bridge has been chosen many times as a location for shooting films of period plays.
On the last sunday of april, the "Jidaigeki Matsuri - the Festival of Period Plays " will be held here.
The professional staff of Tôei Movie Studio will help you to put on any costume you want  to become
a historic figure and will put makeup on you. In 2004, the fee for dressing in costume and make-up
was 30,000 yen.

The bridge is at about 6 kilometers from the Yawata Station.You can go there by bus. It will take
one and a half hour to walk on foot. By bicycle, it will take a half hour. You can have a bicycle rented
free of charge with a guarantee money of 1,000 yen.

At three minute walk to the south from the station, you can see a classic bridge named Ango-bashi
bridge across the Hôjyô-gawa river. At the both sides of the river, there are promenades.

Osaka International Youth Hostel
For an economical stay near the Hamadera Park
The Ôi-gawa River and the Hôrai-bashi Bridge
In Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Thomas Alva Edison and the bamboo of

Yawata city

The Hôrai-bashi
(The longest wooden bridge
in the world )