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Shimanto River Valley & the Submersible Chinkabashi bridges walk 佐田沈下橋 - 三里沈下橋


The Shimanto River is one of Japan’s longest and most pristine rivers, stretching 196 kilometers from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Its winding path often parallels rural roads, allowing for outdoor activities and walking. The most unique feature of the Shimanto River is its many “chinkabashi,” or submersible bridges. These bridges are designed without railings, allowing floodwaters and debris to flow over them without causing damage, ensuring their longevity and functionality.

The Walk

We discovered a tranquil 7-kilometer loop path that crosses two of these bridges. Both paths were paved, and we encountered almost no cars, except for a few locals traveling to and from nearby villages.

The walk itself was very calm and peaceful. The first part of the path runs at a height, offering scenic views, while after crossing the Misato Bridge, the trail meanders through woods and along the river, passing by a few houses. Near the end of our loop, we enjoyed a refreshing coffee at a stand overlooking the river.

A free parking lot is available near the starting point, but there are no toilets or restaurants nearby.

Practical Information

We combined this walk with an overnight stay at Japanese Inn Anjuann, in Nakamura before moving on to Cape Ashizuri.

We last visited in March 31st 2024.