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The Bridge of Dreams

Yume no Tsuri Bashi, Shizuoka Prefecture

Suspended between two mountain ridges, the Yume no Tsuri Bashi (The Bridge of Dreams) is a wooden and steel bridge that is built in the northernmost part of Shizuoka Prefecture, in the Sumata Gorge, where Sumata River meets the Oma River.

The mountains in this region is the beginning of Japan’s Southern Alps, and it was certified as an UNESCO Ecopark in 2014. Most of the forest surrounding the Bridge of Dreams is natural forest - completely untouched by human activity. It is home to various wildlife, such as the rock ptarmigan, the Asiatic black bears, and Sika deer.

The clear, blue, gleaming water is an awe-inspiring sight, and its beauty is further enhanced by the Oma Dam further downstream. You can see the blues of the water get darker as the water deepens - so clear that you can sometimes spot ayu fish as you cross the suspension bridge! Ayu fishing season begins in June, so your chances of seeing them in the clear rivers increase exponentially in the summer.

The view is perfect in every season. In the spring, wild cherry blossoms take turns to bloom in the mountains, and you are able to see cherry blossoms (of various species) from the middle of March to early May. In the summer, the green from the trees complement the lovely aquamarine blue waters, but in the autumn, it is an especially beautiful sight. The reds, oranges, and yellows of the autumn leaves stand out against the blue waters, casting beautiful reflections on a clear, still day. It gets especially busy in the autumn, as many come to admire the brightly coloured leaves. In the winter, the valley takes on a very blue hue, as sunlight only reaches the valley around 1pm in the afternoon.

A guided tour is also available for reservation, for those interested in learning about the local flora and fauna. There are four different tours to choose from, from trekking in the mountains, crossing the Bridge of Dreams, and night walks in the region. Applications for the tours can be made on the Yume no Tsuri Bashi tourism website.

Getting there

The Bride of Dreams is accessible by public transport. If you're going there from Tokyo station, catch the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Shizuoka station (3 stops). Transfer to the JR Tokaido line bound for Hamamatsu, and alight after 8 stops at Kanaya Station.

Transfer to the Oigawa Railway bound for Senzu, and alight at Shin Kanaya Station. Catch a local bus from Shin Kanaya Station to Sumatakyo Onsen, and the entrance to the park will be a 5 minute walk from the Sumatakyo Onsen bus stop. It will take 10 - 15 minutes on foot from the entrance to the Bridge of Dreams. The total travel time by public transport is 3 hours, not accounting for wait time and traffic.

As this area is protected and not well lit at night, visitors are advised to enjoy their trip in the morning till the late afternoon, as it becomes pitch dark by nightfall.

For more information about the Bridge of Dreams, please check out their website at https://yumenotsuribashi-sumatakyo.com/. Their website is offered in Korean, in addition to Japanese. Inquiries can be made to their tourism office by phone (☎ +81 547-59-1011).

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