"Shimada, September 18, 2011" Shimada Travelogue by taigaa001

Shimada Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 116 photos

Update of Horaibashi Bridge

Typhoon Talas, 12th typhoon of the year 2011 which caused a lot of damages to western part of Japan also damaged a part of Horaibashi Bridge in Shimada which made the bridge closed. On September 18, full closure of the bridge was lifted and you can now enter only a minor fraction of the 897 meter long Guinness-registered longest wooden bridge. Barely enough for snap photos as many of visiors of that day did. Full repair of the bridge could be no earlier than next March because repair work can only be done under the dry weather during winter.

Note: Horaibashi Bridge is currently passable as usual.(June 20, 2013)

The Damaged Part

As you see in the photo #2 the bridge lost some of the bridge girders and made the part of the bridge sag. Crossing the bridge is then out of the question.

How was the bridge damaged?

According to the locals who had been watching the status of the bridge during Typhoon, the girders must have been thrusted out by the combined forces of weight of drifted woods and that of the roaring river flow.

Shimada City Museum

After finding out the current status of Horaibashi Bridge, I drove along the riverside road about three kilometer upstream and visited Shimada City Museum, one of my favorite museums around my hometown Fujieda. The museum mainly focus on history and culture of Shimada particularly the exhibits on Oigawa River crossing during Edo Period and traditional Japanese hair-style for women, Shimada Mage, and occasionally even have a special ehibition on Ukiyo-e woodblock printings. I also happened to know the musum has wide variety of video collection, that day I asked the curator for the video on Shimada Mage festival. It happened to be the day Shimada Mage Festival was held. Unfortunately I had things to do that afternoon and missed the festival.

**Recommended Videos(each about 30-40 minutes)

Shimada Mage, Traditional Hair Style

The museum's special exhibition has been about Shimada Mage, traditional women's hair style that has been out of fashion these days. You can see Bunkin Takashimada hair style when you attend Japanese couple's wedding. It is one of them. Shimada is said to be the place Shimada hair style was originated.

Asagao No Matsu Park

The park near the museum is Asagao No Matsu Park. It is so named because of the huge pine tree which used to stand there.

The Story of Asagao No Matsu

According to the board, current Asagao No Matsu (Pine Tree of Asagao) which used to stand at the height of 20 meters and 1.5 meters in eye-level circumference withered in 1930s. The wooden building is recently built to record the pine associated with popular joruri puppet play Shoutsushi Asagao-banashi (The True Story of Morning Glory Diary).

A Large Pine Tree Used To Stand There

(Based on the guide board about Asagao No Matsu, or Morning Glory Pine)

There used to stand a huge pine tree called Asagao-no-Matsu of Morning Glory Pine. The pine tree saw a sad story about Asagao (Miss Morning Glory) the samisen (three-stringed banjo-like instrument) player.

It was the days there were no bridges crossed over Oi River more than 200 years ago. People at that time had to cross the river with the help of bearers.
When heavy rain continues the river became impassable and the travellers were often stuck at the lodges.

Miyuki, a girl from Aki Provinde(Currently Hiroshima Prefecture) fell in love with an attractive young man named Miyagi Aso Jiro when she enjoyed viewing fireflies in Kyoto during her service at Imperial Court. After returning to her home country she found that arrange marriage with Komazawa Jiro Wemon was under way.

Having been unaware that Jiro Wemon actually was Aso Jiro who was adopted to the family as an heir, she left the country, learned samisen(three-stringed banjo) and was given the stage name Asagao(Morning Glory). She desperately toured around Japan to search for Aso Jiro. But she lost her eyesight during the long travel. (to be continued to Part 2)

Note: The photo is one of the Haiku Monument on the Story of Morning Glory Pine
(The Strings of Morning Glory)
(The Pine Tells The Whole Story)
(Through The Wind in Spring)

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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