Nestled in the heart of Old Town, the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An stands as a testament to the rich cultural tapestry that weaves through this charming Vietnamese locale. Situated at the western end of Tran Phu Street, the bridge spans the tranquil waters of the Thu Bon River, connecting the Japanese and Chinese quarters of the town.
The Japanese Bridge in Hoi An Old Town, also known as Chua Cau, Covered Bridge or Lai Vien Kieu, boasts a storied history that dates back to the early 17th century. Constructed in 1590 by the Japanese community that settled in Hoi An during this period, the bridge symbolizes the unity between the Japanese and local Vietnamese communities. Legend has it that the bridge was built to subdue a mythical monster said to have caused earthquakes.
Over the centuries, the bridge has undergone several renovations, but its original essence and cultural significance have been lovingly preserved. Today, it stands as a living testament to the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures in Hoi An.
The Japanese Bridge Hoi An is a striking example of classical Asian architecture, blending both Japanese and Vietnamese design elements. The structure is a covered bridge, adorned with intricate carvings, vibrant paintwork, and a distinctive tiled roof. A small shrine, dedicated to the god Bac De Tran Vo, is housed within the bridge, adding a touch of spirituality to its ambiance.
Two statues, one of a dog and the other of a monkey, stand guard at either end of the bridge, symbolizing the years of construction according to the Chinese zodiac. The bridge’s unique architectural features and the fusion of cultural elements make it a captivating sight for visitors, attracting photographers, historians, and art enthusiasts alike.
Best Time to Visit Japanese Bridge of Hoi An
To truly appreciate the beauty of the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An, consider planning your visit during the early morning or late afternoon. The soft, golden hues of sunrise or sunset cast a magical glow on the bridge, creating a picturesque scene that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Additionally, visiting on weekdays or during the low tourist season allows for a more intimate experience, allowing you to soak in the historical and cultural significance of this iconic landmark without the hustle and bustle.
Whether you’re captivated by history, architecture, or simply seeking a serene moment by the water, the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An Old Town promises a journey through time and culture that is both enriching and unforgettable.
Notes for renovation in 2023
After nearly four centuries of utilization, the Japanese Bridge or Covered Bridge has undergone at least seven minor repairs, but recently, it has experienced significant deterioration. In order to ensure the safety of the structure and enhance its appeal to sightseers, a unanimous decision has been reached among the stakeholders to embark on a comprehensive restoration initiative.
The renovation endeavor for the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An Old Town encompasses a multifaceted approach. This includes fortifying the foundation, pillars, and overall structural integrity. The project also involves the meticulous repair of floor systems, wooden frames, and roofs, as well as the refurbishment of the power supply and implementation of an anti-termite system throughout. Additionally, efforts have been directed towards the restoration of the surrounding landscape and the enhancement of technical infrastructure.
As per the outlined schedule, the Japanese Bridge renovation project is slated for completion by the end of 2023. Upon its successful restoration, the pagoda will be reopened to the public, catering to the tourism and sightseeing needs of visitors.