Totsukawa is a village located in Yoshino, southernmost part of Nara. It is the largest village in Japan in terms of land area, which consists of forest (96% of the area) and water.
Driving down passing through mountains and mountains covered with fresh green and along the river all the way for less than three hours, my husband and I reached the bridge, one of Japan’s longest suspension bridges for pedestrians.
It was built in 1954, which was 54 m high and 297m long. Local residents in the village donated 200,000～300,000 yen per family to build the bridge for their daily use. It must’ve been quite a sum in those days. They use it daily but it also has become one of visitors attractions there.
The warning sign says that we should follow the restriction;“20 persons at most at one time”
Pieces of wooden planks are fixed on the meshed iron wires. In the middle of the bridge it is quite shaky so I hear some couldn't make it to the other end of it. I didn’t feel scared, maybe because I’m used to walking a tightrope !
However, I was surprised to hear some local people cross it by bike.
Totsukawa or Kumano River under the bridge
karasuageha or chinese peacock
Then we extended our driving to Tamaki Shrine.
It has stood for 1300 years at an altitude of 1000 meters in the mountains surrounded with big cedar trees, one of which is estimated to be 3000 years old. The legendary first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is said to have stopped here and prayed for victory, on his way to eastward expedition (神武東征). He was led by a legendary crow named Yatagarasu (八咫烏).The whole area was wrapped with solemn and deep stillness when I visited there.
mountains seen from Mt. Tamaki (1076m)
Here is Youtube about Tamaki Shrine, narrated by Naomi Kawase, who is a film director, the youngest winner of the best new director at 1997 Canne Films Festival for her first 35 mm film. Her film making mostly has been based on rural region of Nara.
She says a prayer is not a request for something in return. When you feel the aura that flows in and is generated by the natural world, your prayer may come naturally to your heart.