Check out these articles

Check out these articles

The Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival: Video Introduction

This video, titled "The Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival" (竜神峡鯉のぼりまつり), was uploaded by "Suzuki Hideto."

Ryujin Gorge is a beautiful V-shaped gorge located in Hitachiota, Ibaraki, in Japan's Kanto region. The gorge is even more crowded during the Golden Week holiday season, when it's dazzling with fresh greenery.

Around 1,000 koinobori (carp streamers) can be seen swimming through the sky around the Ryujin Gorge, with the Ryujin Suspension Bridge at the heart of the action. This spectacular sight has become popular among many tourists for its picturesque views.
The video shows the spectacular sight of the Ryujin Gorge and koinobori swimming in the sky via aerial views, so be sure to check it out as you read along.

Where Ryujin Suspension Bridge Is Located + Height & Other Information About the Bridge

Image of Mori no Kane, Ryujin Suspension Bridge
Photo:Mori no Kane, Ryujin Suspension Bridge

Ryujin Gorge is located in Okukuji Prefectural Nature Park in Hitachiota, Ibaraki. Ryujin Suspension Bridge was built over the Ryujin Dam, which was constructed to dam the Ryujin River that flows through Ryujin Gorge.

The bridge is 375 meters long, making it one of the longest pedestrian-only bridges in Japan. Visitors can also enjoy the thrilling view from the observation windows installed at three locations on the bridge, which are up to 100 meters high.

On the other side of the Ryujin Suspension Bridge is the symbolic "Mori no Kane" (木精の鐘, lit. 'Bell of the Tree Spirits') with three types of bells: love, hope, and happiness. The bell of love is especially popular among couples, as it requires two people to press a button together. If they ring the bell together, it's said that their wishes may come true.

The main attraction of the Ryujin Suspension Bridge is the breathtaking natural scenery of the mountains and valleys. The beautiful sound of the bells echoing through Ryujin Gorge is one of the highlights of the bridge.

The History of the Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival

Image of koinobori at Ryujin Suspension Bridge, Hitachiota, Ibaraki
Photo:Koinobori at Ryujin Suspension Bridge, Hitachiota, Ibaraki

The Ryujin Gorge is especially busy during the "Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival" held from late April to mid-May. Approximately 1,000 koinobori are on display around the Ryujin Suspension Bridge, and visitors can see them swimming through the sky over the entire Ryujin Gorge area.

The Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival began in 1989. When the construction of the Ryujin Suspension Bridge began, wire ropes were stretched over the right and left banks of the Ryujin Dam, and koinobori were attached to them.

Today, it has become a major event that attracts more than 30,000 tourists, and the parking lot with 265 parking spaces is packed even before 8:30 am. Although it's convenient to come by car, it may be better to use public transportation, such as buses or trains.

Due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, the festival was cancelled for two consecutive years, but in 2022, it was held from April 29 to May 15, followed by 2023, from April 29 to May 14.

The festival is usually held during Golden Week each year. For more information on the 2024 Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival, please check the official website or the official Instagram of the Ryujin Suspension Bridge.

During the festival, a photo contest will be held in addition to a market of wild vegetables and other products. In addition, on Children's Day, children of junior high school age and under will be admitted free of charge, whereas normally there is a crossing fee of 320 yen for adults and 210 yen for children.

In addition to the "Carp Streamer Festival," Ryujin Gorge holds seasonal events such as the "Wind Bell Festival" from early to mid-August, where 1,000 wind bells are displayed; the "Autumn Leaves Festival" from early to late November, which includes a stamp rally and a product exhibition to enjoy autumn tastes; and the "Hitachi-Ota Soba Festival" in February, where visitors can enjoy Hitachi-Aki soba noodles. In February, the "Hitachiota Soba Festival" is held, where visitors can enjoy Hitachiota's autumn soba noodles.

Bungee Jumping, Canoeing, & Other Exciting Outdoor Activities at Ryujin Gorge!

Image of bungee jumping at Ryujin Gorge
Photo:Bungee jumping at Ryujin Gorge

Ryujin Gorge, widely known for its koinobori festival, is also a popular place for outdoor recreation.

The bungee jump from the Ryujin Suspension Bridge is known as the highest bungee jump in Japan. There are only a few bungees in the world that can be jumped from a height of 100 meters, and more than 10,000 jumpers visit the bridge every year to experience the thrill of the jump.

Canoeing tours are a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature reflected on the nearby lake while looking up at the Ryujin Suspension Bridge. There are lectures in advance so that canoe and kayak beginners and families can also enjoy the tour and experience the beautiful nature of the Ryujin Gorge while canoeing.

The Ryujin Café, located right next to the reception desk of the Ryujin Suspension Bridge, is a recommended spot for grabbing a bite to eat. On the terrace seats, you can enjoy a "Natto Waffle" and "Ryujin Dam Curry" while appreciating the great nature of the Ryujin Gorge and the Ryujin Suspension Bridge. Consider stopping here for lunch or just to take a break.

Enjoy a Sea of Clouds Over Ryujin Gorge at the Akaiwa Observatory or Discover the Scenic Views of the Area While Hiking!

Image of autumn leaves at Ryujin Gorge, Hitachiota, Ibaraki
Photo:Autumn leaves at Ryujin Gorge, Hitachiota, Ibaraki

In the early morning on a cold day, a sea of clouds can be seen from the Ryujin Suspension Bridge over Lake Ryujin, a dammed lake in the Ryujin Gorge.

From the Akaiwa Observatory, you can see the entire Ryujin Gorge area, including the Ryujin Suspension Bridge. The Akaiwa Observatory is located on top of a mountain roughly 1 km away from the second parking lot of Ryujin Gorge. The scenic views from the observatory are unforgettable. During autumn, you can see the Ryujin Gorge and the Ryujin Suspension Bridge floating in a sea of clouds with the mountains dyed beautiful shades of orange and red in the background. The photogenic views are sure to look good on Instagram, so be sure to bring a camera.

There's also an entrance to a hiking course from Parking Lot 2, so keep this in mind if you're looking to take a walk to feel the great outdoors in spring or autumn.

What are Koinobori?

Koinobori (鯉のぼり), meaning "carp streamer," are carp-shaped windsocks that date back to Edo-Period Japan (1603 AD -1868 AD). In modern Japan, they are flown to celebrate Children's Day, a holiday during Japan's Golden Week that celebrates the healthy growth of children.
The reason for the carp is due to an ancient Chinese legend that tells of a carp that climbed the rapids of the Yellow River and became a dragon. This is said to symbolize the growth of children.

Koinobori are generally painted in three colors:

Black represents water, something that all living things need.

Blue represents spring, the season of life, and wood.

Red represents summer and fire. Summer is the season with the most sunlight, and this symbolizes the nurturing of life.

Two other common colors are yellow and white. All of these colors also represent the five elements in Japanese Buddhist thought.

Additionally, koinobori are hung above houses in Japan with children, with black at the top, symbolizing the father, followed by red, symbolizing the mother, and then blue, etc., which symbolize the children.

Summary of the Ryujin Gorge

The 1,000 koinobori swimming in the sky of Ryujin Gorge is a spectacular sight. Watching the video, it's easy to understand why so many tourists come to the area for the koinobori festival.

In addition, the Ryujin Gorge can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, including outdoor recreation and hiking. Near the Ryujin Suspension Bridge is Fukuroda Onsen Omoide Roman-kan, a hot spring inn. Staying at a hotel or ryokan and relaxing at the hot springs is another great way to have an enjoyable trip.

The Koinobori Festival is held at the spectacular Ryujin Gorge. We encourage you to visit with your family during Japan's Golden Week holiday and make some unforgettable memories!

【Trip Advisor】Ryujin Gorge

Written By
Last Updated : Apr. 16, 2023
平敷 篤(Atsushi Heishiki)
My name is Atsushi Heishiki, a writer who loves Japanese culture and lives in Okinawa.
1,000 Koinobori Swimming Through the Air at the Ryujin Gorge Koinobori Festival! Check Out the Festival Highlights & the Natural Beauty of the Ryujin Gorge!
If this article interests you, be sure to leave a follow.

Recommended Articles