Iwakuni (岩国) is a castle town in southern Chugoku near Hiroshima, famous for it’s iconic Kintaikyo Bridge. It is known as one of Japan’s top 3 bridges with it’s special multiple arched design. The wooden bridge was built without the use of a single nail.

Budget travel tips

  • Iwakuni is a nice place to stop off on the way to/from Hiroshima and Kyushu if travelling by train, or as a side trip from there.
  • The White Snake Park, a rare snake species, is a 5 minute walk from the bridge.

How to get there

With the Japan Rail Pass

Take the Shinkansen to Shin-Iwakuni station (2 hours from Shin-Osaka). Take a frequently departing bus to Kintaikyo Bridge (15 mins, 300 yen).

Without a rail pass

From Hiroshima, take the JR Sanyo Line to Iwakuni station (50 mins, 760 yen). Take a frequently departing bus to Kintaikyo Bridge (20 mins, 300 yen).

Recommended hostels and cheap hotels

Backpackers Hostel K’s House Hiroshima

Japanese hostel chain with good prices and many happy customers it seems! Check prices at Booking.com.

J-Hoppers Hiroshima Guesthouse

Friendly hostel with a variety of dorms and private rooms.  Next to the Peach Park.  Check prices at Booking.com.

More at Booking.com


Published by Matthew Baxter

Matthew Baxter is a British travel author who has lived in and visited Japan for over a decade. Having traveled across the country, without much money, he has built up an extensive knowledge of budget travel here, and has also worked for many leading tourism companies. He also writes professionally for several websites and publications, such as the GaijinPot, All About and the Japan National Tourist Association.