Put your specs on and watch the SL Ginga and JR Kamaishi Line trains rumble overhead on the Megane Bridge. Not to be confused with the Megane Bridge in Nagasaki, this particular bridge is located in Tono, Iwate Prefecture, and hovers over the Miyamori River and Route 283 Kamaishi Highway. Megane Bridge is also one of many designated Tono Heritage Sites in the Tono area.
Megane Bridge has four arches, and in accordance with its name, the bridge appears to form two pairs of spectacles when the Miyamori River’s water reflects the bridge’s semicircle arches to create four full circles. This destination is easily accessible from Miyamori Station on the Kamaishi Line and takes only a mere 10-minute walk to reach. Alternatively, if you are traveling by car, you will certainly not miss Megane Bridge when driving towards Miyamori on the Kamaishi Highway.
There is an area in front of Megane Bridge dedicated to appreciating the view of Megane Bridge. An amphitheater cascades from the Kamaishi Highway roadside down to a branch of the Miyamori River, where a zigzagged path brings you to the platform on the other side. The amphitheater’s design is modern and minimalistic, providing spacious seating for those who wish to enjoy a snack or packed lunch while listening to the gentle whistling of the river water.
The platform opposite the amphitheater offers a grand view of Megane Bridge from a lower angle and is a great photo-taking spot. Feel free to also wander closer next to the Miyamori River as its water glides along the back of the platform. You may also opt to sit in the shade of a pavilion on the left side of the amphitheater and have a more elevated and direct view of Megane Bridge in the distance and Miyamori River below.
If your timing is right, you may even catch a glimpse of the SL Ginga locomotive train as it rolls over Megane Bridge. Inspired by Kenji Miyazawa’s fantasy novel, “Night on the Galactic Railroad”, SL Ginga is one of Japan Railway’s Joyful Trains that connects Hanamaki, Miyazawa’s birthplace, to Kamaishi on the Kamaishi Line.
Tono’s Megane Bridge is certainly not one to miss whilst you are in the area. The bridge is a quick stop if you are traveling along Kamaishi Highway and a relaxing ride away on the JR Kamaishi Line from Hanamaki. Perhaps you would even prefer to ride over Megane Bridge on the SL Ginga locomotive. Who knows, maybe you will find yourself aboard a fantasy story ride alongside Giovanni and Campanella.