A Walk Across Saga’s Chikugo River Lift Bridge

Chikugo River Lift Bridge

The Chikugo River lift bridge at dusk.

The lift bridge spanning the Chikugo River, Kyūshū’s largest river, is one of the few vertical-lift bridges in the world, and a proud symbol of the town of Morodomi in Saga Prefecture. The bridge has a total span of 507 meters with a movable span between two 30-meter high grids that can be elevated up to 23 meters to allow the passage of ships.

Built in 1935, the lift bridge was closed in 1987 when the railway line it served was eliminated. Later, however, it was repurposed as a pedestrian bridge, reopening in 1996. The movable span is lowered eight times a day to allow passage between Morodomi and the city of Ōkawa on the other side of the river in Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Chikugo River lift bridge is today a popular tourist attraction by day and a romantic promenade by night. The bridge remains open to pedestrians even when the movable span is lifted and visitors can walk right up to the central grids. In 2003, the bridge was designated an important cultural property to be preserved for its historical significance.

Access: 20-minute taxi ride from Saga Station on the JR Nagasaki Main Line

Website: Saga, Japan Official Travel Guide, Saga Trip Genius (Chikugo River Lift Bridge)

(Banner photo: Reopened as a pedestrian bridge, the Chikugo River lift bridge is a designated important cultural asset. Information courtesy of the Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation.)

tourism river Saga