Monday, April 11, 2022

To The Source

Gonokawa River to the source

Due to the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic of recent years I decided to start another walking project locally. My intention is to walk from the mouth of the Gonokawa River to the source, and then back along the opposite bank. The Gonokawa, the longest river in Western Honshu, is 194 kilometers long, yet its source on Mount Oasa is a mere 40 kilometers as the crow flies. It meanders along a great curve passing through Miyoshi, the only inland city in Hiroshima.

The first bridge, carrying Route 9 across the river in Gotsu, was not built until 1950. Earlier they ahd tried a pontoon bridge but it didnt last long. Before that the only way across was ferry. Route 9 is the national highway that starts in Kyoto and roughly follows the old Sanin-do, the ancient imperial highway. The bridge is 488 meters, making it the longest bridge across the Gonokawa.

Sanin Line Railway Bridge

Slightly upstream is the  Sanin Line Railway Bridge. This was opened in 1918 and built of American steel. It is the longest iron bridge on the San-in Line, and the oldest existing bridge on the river.

Heading upriver I will be following the route of the old Sanko Line which follows the river from Gotsu to Miyoshi. This was my local line and was a truly beautiful rail journey but was closed down a few years back.

The third bridge that crosses the river in Gotsu is the New Gonokawa Bridge, a monster double-decker. The lower deck carries a local rad that is very rarely used. The upper deck carries the Gotsu-By-Pass that hooks up with the San0In Expressway, only parts of which have been completed. It is always very busy.

Along my walk I plan to revisit many of the sights that are to be seen, as well as see how things have changed in the last twenty years. The right bank I will be walking is the least inhabited side of the river with mostly very small roads. and I suspect I will find many crumbling, abandoned houses,... and first up is Hoinmachi, the original Gotsu town protected from the sea by hills.

Buy Japanese Flutes


  1. a wonderful idea !! Keep walking.
    reading white letters on a black background is very difficult for my eyes though . . . zannen . . .

    1. I have that same problem---white script on black is super hard to read.

  2. Have a great time, Friend! :-)