The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An

Hoi An is a famous city of Quang Nam province, an old town that remains almost intact with more than 1000 architectural relics from streets, houses, assemblies, communal houses, pagodas, temples, ethnic churches. , old wells … to traditional dishes, the souls of the people here. A trip to Hoi An will captivate visitors by its timeless beauty, extremely rustic and simple.

Previously, Hoi An – one of the best areas in Vietnam,  was a busy and prosperous port with the intersection of many great cultures in the world, such as the West, China, and Japan. Therefore, it is easy to understand when there are a lot of traces of different cultures here. As the traditional Chinese culture of the temples, the Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An is a testament to the Japanese cultures that have existed here in the years of history.

Japanese merchants came to Hoi An in the 15th century and possibly earlier. They have come here to live and work and then stay for a long time. The Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An is also said to have been built by Japanese settlers in Vietnam. It will be a mistake to visit the ancient town of Hoi An without ever walking around the Japanese Covered Bridge and save yourself pretty pictures as a souvenir.

The Japanese Covered Bridge underwent its first renovation and repair in 1986 and restored the dome that had flattened due to car and vehicle areas. Currently, this is considered a symbol of the city in particular and Quang Nam province in general.

Well, there are lots of travel tours in Hoi An, but the most popular is the walking tour. It is considered the best way to experience the beauty of this city fully. The bridge began at the end of the 1600s and is still maintained until today. The renovation was constructed to protect the attractions of the bridge; this is one of the important elements of the bridge’s histories. And lots of reasons why tourists make dates back when visiting Vietnam. To this day, the bridge is still well preserved.

Let’s get the travel Hoi An now!

Amazing history Of Japanese Covered Bridge

One of the factors that attract tourists to Hoi An is the historical relics and historic cultural works that are still intact today. The Japanese Bridge is such an exciting place. It scores with different tourism by its ancient beauty and the historical story hidden behind with compelling mysteries and magnetic heads. I find lots of important information about the Covered Bridge historic elements. One of them is the constructed process would make you amazed. A lot of posts share this story, and we would read about it.

Specifically, the Japanese Covered Bridge was built in the 17th century by Japanese merchants. However, to this day, no one can know the exact time of commencement until completion. The only thing we can confirm is that it was finished in the 17th century and still retains the overall look of its original design for hundreds of years.

Fortunately, after this, a lot of researchers took the time to get about the exact timing of starting and operating this Japanese bridge. From there, we have a relative result of the historic bridge-building process.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - History

Vu Duc Tan – a Vietnamese historical researcher, a well-known author of Vietnam Magazine, and a foreign author of The Asian Wall Street Journal, pointed out that the Temple The bridge was constructed around the end of the 16th century, specifically around 1593. If you read and read in ancient Vietnamese documents, the Japanese Covered Bridge was first mentioned in 1617. In other words, We can ultimately affirm that the Japanese Covered Bridge existed and was completed before 1617; and present in the beauty of Hoi An town from the early 17th century.

This bridge was built and completed by the Japanese, called the “Japanese bridge.” There are lots of exciting tales and stories about the meaning and profound origin of this bridge, in which it must be mentioned that residentials consider the bridge to play an essential and noble role, similar to the bar Japanese legendary sword magic, which helps control the head of the ferocious, brutal Namazu monster. This beast, as legend has it, is terrifying, massive, and dangerous. Its giant is described as India’s head, the body in Vietnam, and the tail in Japan. This Japanese bridge – symbolizing the sword – succeeded as a point of overpowering the hideous monster, limiting possible natural disasters, earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms, preventing calamities lurking because of the wicked beast’s twisting and turning.

Who stood out to build that ancient bridge? Japanese, Vietnamese, or Minh Huong? Indeed, the owner of that bridge was not Vietnamese because at that time, and the historians of the Nguyen Dynasty under Tu Duc (1847 – 1883) were only able to hear from the senior generations, so they wrote in Dai. The South agreed that: “The bridge is located in Cam Pho commune to the west end of Hoi An street, Dien Phuoc district, the stream water flowing southward flows into the Cai river, the northbridge above. Legend has it that this bridge is north of the Japanese merchant. And under the stone bridge, on the paved board, the attic consists of seven tiled compartments “.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - History

French researcher Albert Sallet added: “Legend has it that a Japanese man named Thanh built this bridge on stone pillars with superstructure ribs and a tile roof.” If that question of the Vietnamese we built on our territory, then indeed the history of the Nguyen dynasty, wrote about this issue with different content. So the Minh Huong residents in Hoi An in the sixteenth – seventeenth centuries were the owners of that ancient tiled roof bridge?

According to Quang Nam Minh Huong Tam Bao Vu wrote about “Brief history of Minh Huong” in Hoi An, in 1644 in China, the Qing war began to overthrow the Ming and Chinese loyalists to the old regime. Evacuated to Dang Trong Dai Viet, voluntarily joined Vietnamese nationality and asked Lord Nguyen Phuc Lan (1635-1648) to establish Minh Huong village at Hoi An town port in 1644 until 1653 to stabilize.

Thus, Minh Huong village in Hoi An was born after the Japanese Kieu presence at least more than a quarter of a century, showing that Minh Huong cannot be the owner of the Japanese Kieu. We recall that in 1633, the Japanese shogunate issued an order to close foreign trade. The overseas Japanese living and trading abroad had to repatriate, and the Japanese train had finally left. Hoi An harbor in 1637, the Japanese town began to decline, and the Japanese bridge was managed by the Vietnamese in Hoi An. After Minh Huong village was born and the Japanese bridge was located in this village, Lord Nguyen assigned Minh Huong to manage and repair the bridge – a important thing you should know.

Until 1653, Trung Luong Hau Khong Thien Nhu, one of the first ten gentlemen to establish Minh Huong village in Hoi An, and the mandarin in charge of Ty Tau here of Lord Nguyen with some other kind money. Spend money to build a small temple next to the Japanese bridge in the west end to worship the North De Chan Vo To Su (or Huyen Thien Dai De) and Trung Han Cung to worship Quan Cong and Minh Huong Buddha to worship Quan Am Buddha. After the birth of the Japanese bridge architecture complex – the North Emperor pagoda or the Temple Bridge, the name of the Japanese bridge was gradually forgotten and replaced by the familiar name Covered Bridge. Temple was born after the bridge at least 35 years. The title Japanese Covered Bridge was finished in the year 1653 as early as in Hoi An.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - History

According to studies, ancient residents living in Hoi An believe that underneath this Japanese Covered Bridge is a lair of monsters and kappa, dangers, and prosperity. Devil’s explosions are always lurking. Therefore, the Vietnamese and Chinese living in Hoi An built temples to overpower them and connect to the north side of the bridge in Hoi An. They believe that, with the power of the spirits and the gods, monsters and demons will not be able to endanger their lives here.

Today, these monuments remain intact. When you visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, you can ultimately view the bridge connected to the temples nearby. It can be said that the Covered Bridge becomes the demonstration and symbols of the combination between the three great cultures of the mysterious East, Japan, China, and Vietnam.

What is the main reason why the Covered Bridge was built here? During the Nguyen Dynasty, many international refugees from Japanese and China walked along the coast, and they came to Hoi An. In Hoi An, they are welcomed and accepted as residents. They get acquainted and start their peaceful life in this beautiful land. They maintain their lives by buying, selling, and exchanging products for money. That is why the Japanese Covered Bridge was built.

However, in 1633, the Japanese government asked to ban the opening of trade and exchanges with foreign countries, including Vietnam. That means that all Japanese people living in Vietnam are forced to return to their home countries. The Japanese finally left Vietnam in 1637. Therefore, the Japanese Covered Bridge was under the control and control of the Vietnamese living in the old town of Hoi An.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - History

The reason why Lord Quoc Nguyen Phuc Chu during a visit to Hoi An town port in 1719 means that after the bridge was born more than a century, he gave the bridge the name Lai Vien Kieu because the bridge had already been named Japan. Kieu. Besides, Lord Nguyen had a great thought giving the old bridge a name that carries profound meaning as a “bridge of people from afar,” which implies the importance of traders from other countries. Trading in Hoi An was seen by the Dai Viet Dang Trong as friends and was warmly welcomed with an open way and open trade.

Nhat Kieu in the architectural structure and interior decoration has contained the imprint of the Phu Tang culture; soft tile roof with low slope, square columns, arc-shaped beveled bridge base, decorative patterns shape the sun, the fan spread … are no longer available. The Monkey Gods and the Dog Gods worship at the 2 ends of the bridge. At the port town of Hoi An in the past, the Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese communities shared a legend about the causes of earthquakes.

They believe that there is a sea monster in the ocean that the Vietnamese call Con Cu, the Japanese call Mamazu, the Chinese demand the Dragon, its head in Japan, its tail in India, and its back. Across the slot in Hoi An that the Japanese Bridge crosses. Every time that sea monster thrashed, the Japanese had an earthquake, and Hoi An was not at peace so that the Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese could do business in peace.

To control Mamazu, the Japanese worshiped the Monkey Gods and the Dog Gods on both ends of the bridge to “cover” that water monster. Scholars of the University of Showa (Chieu Hoa) who came to study in Hoi An in September 1992, March 1993, and September 1993 discussed with the Hoi An Monuments Management Committee that animals worship on the bridge. They are not any beasts, but Japanese totem beliefs.

It was also seen that the Minh Huong people set up a small temple next to the old bridge to worship the North De Chan Vo (or Huyen Thien Dai De) to control the Cau Long child not to cause earthquakes. We need to add that on either side of the entrance wall on the west and east of the Japanese bridge; there were initially two embossed Chinese lines. Still, it faded to be lost eventually, and a large Buddha-shaped over the years embossed pattern replaced the Ming Huong.

Today, besides unique temples and temples, Cau Pagoda is always a name in the list of impressive tourist destinations and attracts domestic and foreign tourists. On February 17, 1990, the Covered Bridge was recognized as a national historicals and cultural heritage. That is an honor not only for the people of Hoi An city in particular but also for the happiness of the people of Quang Nam province in general.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - History

The Renovation of Japanese Covered Bridge in the past

Considering the length of formation, construction, and development, the Japanese Covered Bridge has about 7 times the restoration, construction of the bridge, and conservation. Specifically, 7 repairs to the Covered Bridge include 1763, 1815, 1875, 1917, 1962, 1986, and 1996. These repairs may consist of adjustments to the roof, the floor of the monument, pillars or wall sculptures, and the bridge’s posts. In recent times, due to the bridge’s long life and many signs of severe deterioration, the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province has granted permission to Hoi An city to restore and protect the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Quang Nam province first restored this Japanese bridge in 1763 by the leaders of Minh Huong commune directly. That was a village in Hoi An town at that time. Later, for the next 52 years, Minh Huong village villagers once again repaired the bridge with reinforcement and repairs to make it operate stably and safely.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Renovation

In 1875, again, Minh Huong commune’s people directly handled this Japanese bridge’s restoration, but with a little different compared to 2 times before. This bridge renovation and repair has added the participation of wealthy entrepreneurs in the surrounding areas.

During the French colonial period, once again, the Japanese bridge was repaired. In particular, in 1915, the bridge repair was more invested with the fact that the French Chief Minister Lesterlin Galtier deducted a portion of his treasury to be used for the reconstruction of the bridge. Today, if you pay attention, when you visit the Japanese bridge, you can still see the stele engraved with the sponsors’ names and contribute money to the restoration since 1917.

45 years later, around 1962, the Japanese Bridge in the old town continued to be restored and repaired. This time, however, the responsible person was the provincial government of Quang Nam. Up to now, there are many hidden problems in the repair of the monument. The restoration is based on spontaneity without the supervision and inspection, appraisal, and evaluation by historical experts, researchers, and architects, instead of local people’s contribution, having somewhat ruined the bridge’s design integrity.

The two most recent restoration of the Japanese bridge in the old town area was 1986 and 1996. That can be considered the two most professional and systematic repair, also the largest and most complete in history. ITherestoration in 1986 was directly directed and supervised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the People’s Committee of Hoi An city conducted for two months, from August to October. The year 1986 has brought about desirable results. The most obvious impact can be seen today, the floor and roof have been fixed, instead of sagging and lack of aesthetics, safe as before.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Renovation

Recently, at the international conference on August 16, 2016, the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province agreed on a plan to deal with a long-standing historic relic of Hoi An – Cau Pagoda, Vietnam: repair by dismantling the whole area.

Why is the Japanese Covered Bridge So Special? Or what makes the Covered Bridge interesting?

  1. A multicultural history about the Japanese Covered Bridge

The Japanese bridge built in the ancient town of Hoi An, Vietnam, was thought to be the characteristic of Vietnamese rice civilization. It was still a unique blend of three cultures, a harmonious and perfect combination—Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese community. The local residents design it and make it popular.

It can be said that the bridge area was built and started on the territory of Vietnam, and is designed in Japanese style and imprint, at the same time with the participation in construction and Chinese national elements. In other words, this is the crystallization of the three traditional oriental cultural cradles.

As mentioned above, the Japanese Bridge was born based on the legend of the monster Namazu. It is seen as a sword that works to overpower the dangers that the beast can bring to the people of the three countries of Vietnam, China, and Japan. The prevention of natural disasters, earthquakes, and tsunamis can occur at any time. Moreover, the bridge is also an encouragement and affirmation of many countries’ spiritual values, including India, Japan, and Vietnam.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Special features

In 1719, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu visited the Japanese Bridge in Hoi An ancient town and was fascinated by its old, magnificent beauty. To praise it, he gave it another word Lai Vien, which means “from far away.” This word hopes that visitors from all four corners of the country to the old town will be attracted and remember the beautiful image of this bridge. And until today, Lord Nguyen’s wishes have come true when this Japanese bridge has become a symbol of Hoi An city and a famous tourist destination worldwide.

For the first time the bridge was completed, Hoi An was a busy trading port and active in the Southeast Asia area. Traders and residents worldwide come here to exchange goods, trade and learn from each other both from the East and from the West. In other words, Hoi An becomes a place to conquer and converge diverse cultures around the world. That is also why this bridge is a multicultural beauty and contains lots of interesting customs around the world. The bridge began in the Binh Than year and finished in the Giap Tuat – the year of the dog and across in the river as a symbol of local residents between the Chinese quarter with Japanese merchants.

Since its inception, the bridge has become a symbol of hoi and Eastern countries in general, creating a trademark for Japanese and Vietnamese architecture.

  1. The Japanese Covered Bridge has the two distinguished parts

The name is Covered Bridge, made of wooden, but to mention two parts in this relic that is Bridge and Temple. Talking about the historic Bridge, this is a continuation of the temple built 60 years later, which is also why the word “Chùa-Cầu” was born – you can mean the bridge leading to the temple in the language. Vietnam. Once you’ve visited the old town, it would be a waste not to take the time to travel both of these areas during your tours.

This bridge was built across the Thu Bon Rivers while the pagoda is located in the north. Only when you entirely visit both of these monuments when you come to Hoi An, you are genuinely fully aware of this lovely city’s cultural beauty in Vietnam.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Special features

  1. In the Japanese Covered Bridge does not worship Buddha, what does it honor?

If you are a person who loves and learns about Vietnamese culture in particular and the Orient in general, you will know that most of the temples in Vietnam are places to worship Buddha. However, Hoi An Covered Bridge is not like that. This place was built for the community to honor Tran Vo Bac De – the god of weather Tran. I research important information based on newspapers and share it with you.

According to myths told, Tran Vo Bac De is a symbol of peace, happiness, wealth, and health. His mission is to protect the peace and prosperity of the people living here, ensuring they have a rich and prosperous life.

It can be said that Tran Vo Bac De – the Taoist god of weather, is a symbolic image of the spiritual life of Hoi An people. That is why the Covered Bridge is an attractive cultural tourist destination and a tourist destination bearing a spiritual mark.

Well, there is another fascinating thing about Hoi An Bridge that you need to know. The Covered Bridge image has become a symbol printed on the Vietnamese currency note, a bill of 20 000 VND. Thereby, we can see the Covered Bridge’s importance and great cultural significance in Vietnam’s history.

  1. The impressive architecture of the Japanese Covered Bridge

When visiting this place, the first thing that attracts you is the intricate and varied carvings on the monument’s roof and pillars. These patterns are inspired by images of gods and mascots in Vietnamese and Eastern culture such as dragons, embellished with Japanese cultural features. Using gentle colors, the Covered Bridge is still beautiful and outstanding. It is worthy of being one of the most expensive and impressive monuments of Hoi An city.

Another exciting and astonishing feature of the Covered Bridge lies in the material used. Both the pagoda and the bridge use high-quality wooden materials, bringing the ancient, traditional, and simple beauty but no less memorable and elegant. Besides, the location located on the river banks makes the scene more romantic, lyrical and airy, and relaxed. Another exciting thing about this bridge was built as a symbol of peace and connection of the Japanese community with the Chinese quarter, spanning the small river.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Special features

Because the Japanese built it, the Japanese Covered Bridge – across the Thu Bon river – has Japanese cultural characteristics. Some things still resonate with some attributes in Vietnamese culture. It is the way to connect with local residents. Each side of the bridge has an image of an animal, including a monkey and a dog. In Japanese culture, the mascot dogs and monkeys represent protection and protection, safety, and peace. However, some studies show that the bridge was built in the year of the monkey Binh Than – began in the year of the monkey and completed in the year of the dog Giap Tuat, so the image of these two animals appeared in the architecture of the bridge. They are also considered a protective mascot for Japanese emperors were born.

The Covered wooden Bridge is located on the junction between Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street and Tran Phu street either end, Hoi An historics, and ancient town, Quang Nam. The bridge’s total length is about 18 meters long (about 60 feet in length), with rain and sun-shading roofs crossing a small branch of the calm Thu Bon River. Legend has it that in 1719, Lord Nguyen Phuc Lai visited the pagoda and gave the temple three words “Lai Van Kieu,” which means “You from afar,” as an admiration, praise, at the same time. Show love for the scenery here and a way of marking God’s footsteps who visited this land.

The Covered BrCurrently, for domestic customers tickets, is 80,000 VND / person / any 3 points. For foreign visitors tickets, it is 120,000 VND / person / any 5 points. You can choose from the following 22 attractions: Cultural works: Chùa Cầu, Dinh Cam Pho, Tuy Tien, Minh Huong Street, Quan Cong Temple. You can find a tour from Da Nang to Hoi An to save money and have more enjoyable experiences when visiting Vietnam.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the numerous statues of gas and dog statues found around the bridge’s temple. Many local guides said that the bridge was completed in the year of the dog and began in the year of monkey. But it is also noted that these two animals were chosen to guard the bridge because many Japanese emperors were born in the year of dogs or monkeys – meaning of protection and sacredness. The year of the dog is the Binh Tan year in Vietnam.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An - Special features


Today, Hoi An historic and ancient town is also voted as a World Heritage by UNESCO and a popular place globally. The Covered Bridge spans a small, 60 feet in length branch, located in the west of the city, connecting Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street to Tran Phu Street, located on the main riverside road.

You can experience a walking tour in Hoi An ancient town, after visiting Da Nang to feel in detail the beauty of this bridge. Don’t forget to visit the pagoda in the north. Imagine the history, with stories about the Chinese quarter and people living in Hoi An in the past.

According to Hoi An tourism experience, if you just visit the Covered Bridge, you will not be able to end a day, and perhaps quite dull if you spend an entire day just going to the old town.

To save time and money, you can refer to a few suggestions below, which are quite suitable for those who only have 1-2 days in Hoi An.

Day 1: Book tour Hoi An 1 day explore Hoi An ancient town at night.

Note: You should go during the day because Hoi An at night is lovely. You, not anything.

Day 2: Tourist destinations near the old town

The second day in the Hoi An travel schedule 2 days 1 night, I recommend choosing an eco-tourist destination.

Well, here are some pointers, all of which are the most popular and worth going to in 2020, and lots of tourists make the dates back.

In July 2019, Hoi An once again made us proud when the Covered Bridge image appeared brilliantly on the Google homepage. Before that, Hoi An excellently won the title “The best tourist city in the world” voted by Travel and Leisure (the leading travel magazine of America).

Please share beautiful pictures of Da Nang and Hoi An tourism to international tourists, as an advertisement and gratitude to other local tourists to international friends. In the past, Cau pagodas have had several renovation. This is one of the best destinations in Vietnam.

This temple is considered symbols of Hoi An historic town. It is the quietness of this place that makes this temple more attractive than ever. You will feel amid a prosperous business like Hoi An; we will find peace just when visiting Cau Pagodas. That is a favorite destination for many people. Because this place offers a beautiful natural landscape and tranquility that makes the soul more comfortable and relaxed, this tourist destination is a harmonious cross between different cultures. Therefore, this place’s beauty is scarce, and not everywhere you can also see the beauty of traditional architecture like in Hoi An Cau Pagoda.

The Japanese Covered Bridge - The Legacy Of Ancient Japan In Hoi An

In the past, Hoi An was considered a bustling trading port with a lot of trading and trading activities; today, it has become the most famous tourist destination in this area. Besides silk village, pottery village, and Hoi An ancient house, Cau pagoda is the destination you should not miss when traveling to Hoi An old town.

Today, Covered Bridge is still between its attractions by the following advantages:

– Located in the center of Hoi An city

– Walk around for easy sightseeing

– One of the popular tourist destinations

Well, you can get excellent and unique experiences that are unique to this place. You can take 2 hours to travel around Hoi An and enjoy the best destination in Vietnam. You may buy some souvenirs in the shops on the roadside and try some local foods. You may purchase some tickets for tourist sites charge fees through traveling companies. Fortunately, the monuments are still well preserved.

Hoi An is known for lots of relics along with beautiful landscapes that captivate residents. To Hoi An’s people, the Covered Bridge is the soul and the old town’s sign.

With the location of the Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An is nestled across a small branch of the Thu Bon stream, so all year round the Covered Bridge still embraces the town and around it will be surrounded by the old quarter of a-thousand-year, but it’s not like that, but this place is sad. Where is boring or dull. That is shown very clearly about the beliefs and hopes for a bright and bright future of the residents here and the dreams of always being optimistic about life.

Covered Bridge has witnessed the change of histories according to the ups and downs of time, and mostly, it has recorded the intersection of unique cultures, so all these changes have been put on. Hoian is a scarce beauty, isn’t it? That is the reason that every time you travel the Japanese Covered Bridge, everyone will be in the heart.

Hopefully, the sharing in the article will help you have an interesting and detailed look at historical sites in Vietnam in general and in Hoian in particular. Thanks for reading my writing. Hopefully, in the coming sharing, we will have a good journey together again.

Through this article, you can learn about the story of the most beautiful and oldest bridge in Hoian town, the more you can look at its construction. You can also answer the question of how old is this bridge, right?

Please refer to your trip schedules carefully before coming to Vietnam or Hoi An to ensure you have pretty memories. Avoid going on the occasion of August to January every year, this is the occasion when floods often happen and the weather is quite uncomfortable.

When traveling to Hoi An, tourists should choose the time around February – April every year because that is the time when Hoian most satisfied tourists. Less rain, no hot sun like summer, pleasant climate, open space. At this time, visitors can freely visit the beautiful scenery in Hoi An or explore new activities and places to fully experience the beauty of this place. Remember to book your hotel room in Hoi An early to avoid running out of rooms.

Hello and see you in Vietnam one day not far away!

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