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Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Overview

Situated at the western end of Tran Phu Street in Hoi An, the Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the three tile–covered bridges in Vietnam and is the only ancient bridge in Hoi An Ancient Town. . Dating back to the 18th Century AD, the iconic bridge is popular for its magnificent Japanese architecture and the solid structure. The major highlight of the Japanese Covered Bridge is the structures of two dogs and monkeys marking the birth of Japanese Emperors born in the month of the Dog and the Monkey, and the fact that the bridge was started in the year of the dog and completed in the year of the monkey.

The area surrounding the bridge is another attraction with beautiful paintings lined up along the streets for sale by local artists. Temple dedicated to Tran Vo Bac De, the Taoist god of weather, is situated on the northern side of the bridge. This temple is frequented by the locals who believe that praying here would save them from any impending earthquakes. A visit to the Japanese Covered Bridge is a must for artists, architecture enthusiasts, and photographers.

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History & Legend of Japanese Covered Bridge

Opened for public in 1719 AD by Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu, the bridge was originally named as Lai Vien Kieu, meaning “Welcoming friend afar”. During the trip to the Japanese Covered Bridge, one may clearly observe three Chinese symbols carved out on top of the Bridge’s door. These were made by Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu himself as his commemoration to Hoi An city.

It is believed that the bridge was built to subdue a world-spanning dragon monster Mamazu, whose head was located in India, back in Vietnam and tail in Japan. As per mythology, Mamazu’s body movements were the reason behind the earthquakes caused mostly in Japan and Vietnam. Hence, to pin down the monster, the Japanese merchant community in Hoi An built the bridge.

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