August 4 is designated as "Hashi no Hi (Bridge Day)" in Japan.
The theory is said to have been proposed by Toshihiko Yuasa from Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture in 1985.
In Kyoto, various large and small bridges have been built to support the lives of local people.
Above all, the bridge over the Kamo-gawa River has various expressions depending on the place.
In this article, we introduce the Shichijo-Ohashi Bridge, which spans the Kamo-gawa River on Shichijo-dori Street.
The Shichijo-ohashi Bridge was constructed in accordance with the 'Three Great Projects of Kyoto City' promoted at the end of the Meiji period.
Construction began in November 1911 and is said to have been completed in March 1913.
It's 108 years old and the oldest bridge across the Kamo-gawa River.
While many bridges have been rebuilt due to disasters, the Shichijo-ohashi Bridge retains the design of the Meiji period.
It is the only bridge left under the 'Three Great Projects of Kyoto City'.
In 2008, it was designated as a civil engineering heritage selected by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers as a valuable cultural property remaining in Kyoto.
In March 2019, it was designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.
The modern design of the 5-row arch is a rare Western-style building among the bridges over the Kamo-gawa River.
It is one of the largest reinforced concrete bridges built in the early days of modern Japanese architecture.
Along with Togetsu-kyo Bridge on the Katsura-gawa River (Oi-gawa River) and Uji-bashi Bridge on the Uji-gawa River, it is "The Three Most Important Bridges".
We can see the partial renovation and removal of the bridge, but the bridge itself remains as it was at that time.
Currently, the balustrade of Shichijo-ohashi Bridge has been redesigned to look like a Yaguruma (arrows rack) with a motif of "Toshiya (arrows those have been passed through)" of Sanju-Sangen-do Hall".
Sanju-Sangen-do Hall (Rengeo-in Temple) is a Buddhist temple located across the Shichijo-Ohashi Bridge to the east.
And the event of "Toshiya (arrows those have been passed through)" is a special feature of the new year.
Similarly, a 10 minute walk east from Shichijo-ohashi Bridge leads to Chishaku-in Temple, Hokoku-jinja Shrine and the Kyoto National Museum.
If we go west for about 10 minutes, we will see Shosei-en Garden (Kikokutei) and Higashi Hongan-ji Temple. Kyoto Station is also within walking distance.
At the west end of Shichijo-ohashi Bridge, there is "Taimatsudenari-jinja Shrine".
It is a sub-shrine outside the precinct of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine and is also called "Tanaka-jinja Shrine".
The 7th of every month is the day for cleaning activities by members of the "Shichijo-ohashi Beautification Group."
It is said that it celebrated its 7th anniversary on July 7, 2021, and continues its activities as much as possible even in the event of the coronavirus.
When we cross the bridge, shall we have to cherish the thoughts of not only my ancestors but also the present people?
Shimohorizumecho, Higashiyama-ward, Kyoto-city, Kyoto
A short walk from Keihan Shichijo Station