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Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi and Kyusuikei Valley

Photography/MIYAJI Yasuhiko

a Stunning Panoramic View

 At the northern end of the plateau of Iida Highlands in Kokonoe, spreading out at the foot of the Kuju Mountain, the land gets cut off at the high cliff, out of which flows down the Naruko River that becomes the source of the Chikugo River. It is a famous scenic spot for fresh and lush green in early summer and autumn leaves that represent Oita, along with Kyusuikei, which is slightly downstream.
 A large suspension bridge appeared in October 2006, in this valley. 173 meters above the water, 390 meters in length, and 1.5 meters in width. It is the largest suspension bridge exclusively for pedestrians in Japan. The bridge can hold up to 1,800 adults, wind speed of 65 meters, and seismic intensity of 7. The main wire extending from the main tower supporting the 312-ton bridge girder is composed of 7 bundles of 53mm wires in diameter.
 Since its opening, many visitors have enjoyed the bridge shaking slightly and been amazed by the stunning landscape of the valley. Towards the upstream you will see the Shindou Waterfall, which falls 83 meters from the plateau of the highlands, selected as one of the “Top 100 Waterfalls of Japan.” The overlooking scenery changes color by seasons, from green to red.
 Kyusuikei is located in the Kusu River, which joins downstream. The road nicknamed Thirteen Curves leads to the cliff, and people and cars go through this to go up and down, looking down or up the fresh green and red autumn leaves. By the way, Naruko River is a river with a stream of great sound, which used to be written with characters meaning “sounding river” and read “Naruko,” however the character meaning “river” was gradually forgotten and read as “Ko” or “Kou,” so eventually became the current characters, meaning “sounding child.” Kyusuikei is said to be originated from the predecessor of Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd., Kyushu Suiryoku Hatsuden (Kyushu Hydroelectric Power).
 The name “Yume” (meaning “dream”) came from the public voting, but there is no doubt that the dreams of local community in Kokonoe have been entrusted. The idea came from local residents, and everyone thought it’s a dream that will not be realized, but the town authorities took it and spent 2 billion yen to make it happen. The town rejected the waves of municipal mergers in Heisei, and aimed to be the “Town of Independence and Autonomy.” This effort has been rewarded by the many visitors to the bridge.
 The income is utilized for welfare and other different businesses, and local communities including the Chamber of Commerce dream bigger for development and sales of specialty goods.

The "Yume" Otsurihashi and Kyusuikei Valley, the scenic spot for fresh greens and autumn leaves.