Japanese Covered Bridge – The Legacy Of Ancient Japan in Hoi An
With a history dating back more than 400 years, the Japanese Covered Bridge, also known as the Cau Pagoda, is now regarded as one of the most important structures in Hoi An’s old town. Since the 17th century, when it was designed by the Japanese, the Bridge has drawn thousands of tourists from all over the world due to its unusual elegance and special architecture. If you visit Hoi An’s old town, you must visit the Japanese Covered Bridge at least once.
Location: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Minh An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province
Opening Hours: 24 hours every day (might be different on Christmas Eve)
Entrance Fee: all entry permissions of the monuments, even the Japanese Covered Bridge, etc. included already
For Vietnamese visitors: 80.000 VND / person
For International visitors: 150.00 VND / person
Why is the Japanese Covered Bridge So Special?
1. Japanese Covered Bridge has a multicultural history
The Japanese Covered Bridge, despite being constructed in Hoi An, Vietnam, is a natural blend of Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese culture. While the Japanese constructed the bridge, the temple, which was listed earlier, was the work of both Vietnamese and Chinese.
The Japanese Covered Bridge, with the task of managing the monster Namazu, was thought to have prevented natural disasters in Vietnam, Japan, and India. Furthermore, the Bridge, at least in spirit, changed the lives of the people of these three nations.
Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu, in particular, had visited and been captivated by the breathtaking elegance of the Japanese Covered Bridge in 1719. Nguyen Phuc Chu dubbed the Bridge “Lai Vien,” which translates as “going from afar.” He hoped that the Bridge would draw a large number of tourists from around the world. And, up to now, the Bridge has accomplished nothing but that, successfully and flawlessly.
Hoi was born around the time the Japanese Covered Bridge was completed. An ancient town was a busy and crowded trading district. Businessmen and travelers from all over the Eastern region, not just Japanese and Chinese, stopped by to exchange goods, interact, and learn from one another. This was the place where the varied cultures of various countries were unified and overcome. That is one of the reasons why the Japanese Covered Bridge has been immersed in different East Asian cultures and customs.
2. The two distinguished parts of the Japanese Covered Bridge
Despite the fact that it is known as the Covered Bridge, there are two distinct components of this national monument: the Bridge and the Temple.
The bridge was built first, followed by the temple about 60 years later. That is why the bridge is known in Vietnamese as “Chua Cau” (“Chua” means “temple” and “Cau” means “bridge”). It would be a disappointment if you did not pay a visit to both sites until you arrived at the memorial.
The Japanese Covered Bridge was constructed in Hoi An over the Thu Bon River, with the temple on the north side of the bridge. Only after seeing both artifacts would you have had a full and significant trip to Hoi An, Vietnam.
3. The Japanese Covered Bridge does not worship Buddha
Although the majority of temples and pagodas in Vietnam were designed to worship Buddha – the country’s dominant religion – the Japanese Covered Bridge and temple were built to worship Bac De Tran Vo. According to local legends, this is Hoi An’s deity of happiness, fortune, and fitness. He is on a quest to ensure that the people here live peacefully, contentedly, and satisfyingly.
Overall, Bac De Tran Vo is a sign of tranquillity. As a result, in addition to being an important historical and cultural relic, the Japanese Covered Bridge is also a well-known spiritual tourism attraction.
Another curious thing about the Japanese Covered Bridge is that its logo was written on Vietnam’s official currency – the 20.000 dollar, to be precise. This further adds to the significance of the Japanese Covered Bridge in Vietnam.
4. The Japanese Covered Bridge has an impressive architecture
The intricate and varied designs carved on the roof and wooden columns of the Japanese Covered Bridge would be the first item visitors spot. The most notable pattern is the dragon motif, which is in traditional Vietnamese style but is dotted with Japanese trademarks. The Japanese Covered Bridge truly deserves to be one of the most striking historical relics of Hoi An’s ancient town, particularly with the gentle yet still striking colors of the walls.
The content is yet another remarkable aspect of the Japanese Covered Bridge. Both the bridge and the temple were planned and constructed of timber, resulting in an ancient and plain but elegant and memorable elegance. Furthermore, since the monument is located on the water, the interior space is very cool and airy.
The Japanese Covered Bridge was designed by the Japanese, so it naturally has some Japanese cultural elements, but the monument still has a few Vietnamese elements. There is an animal-shaped statue on either side of the Bridge, a monkey and a rabbit. Monkeys and dogs are godly creatures in Japanese society, representing peace and wellbeing. However, some studies claim that those two sculptures were mounted on the memorial since the Bridge was constructed in the year of the Monkey and completed in the year of the Dog.
The beautiful curved roof that covers every inch of the Japanese Covered Bridge also impresses tourists. The roof was also adorned with yin and yang designs, which are popular in Vietnamese culture and architecture.
There are short passages and benches on either side of the Bridge for tourists to sit and relax if necessary. A small wooden wall divided the temple and the Bridge.
All about the Japanese Covered Bridge is important to Vietnamese, Japanese, and Asian culture, from the material to the architecture to the designs and decorations. As a result, many people regard the Bridge as a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western architecture.
Hoi An ancient town has always been a popular and amazing tourist destination in Central Vietnam, but what makes the place so famous is a wonderful culture as well as the historical relics there, of which the Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most important. The Bridge has succeeded in being the heart of Hoi An over the course of 400 years.
When you arrive in the ancient area, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Japanese Covered Bridge, as it would be a pity if you didn’t. By visiting the Bridge, you will gain a better understanding of Eastern architecture as well as Vietnam’s vibrant past. With all of these charms together, the Japanese Covered Bridge hopes to leave an indelible and striking impression and memory on you.