Friday, December 12, 2008

AYA CON DIOS ...!


It was "like a bridge over troubled waters" today in Miyazaki as I decided to venture out of my hotel and see something of this fascinating city believed in Japanese mythology to be the birthplace of the Gods. Miyazaki is about as far south as you can get in Japan. It's on the Southernmost tip of Kyushu, the Southernmost of Japan's four major islands. The locals call it "tropical" but, if you ask me, that's just wishful thinking. Then, again, who am I to criticize the climate? I've spent most of the week holed-up in a meeting room. To rectify the situation, I hopped in a taxi and said to the driver, "I have an hour-and-a-half. Can you take me to the best sites in Miyazaki?" "Yes, yes," said the driver, exercising the full extent of his English. As we drove through increasingly remote areas, I began to fear he was going to leave me in a rice paddy or at one of the island's numerous active volcanoes. Instead, he took me to the Aya Teruha Suspension Bridge, a pedestrian bridge towering 465 feet over the Aya Minami River leading to what is called the shoyojurin, one of the "best virgin forests in the Orient." Through an elaborate system of hand-gestures, the driver explained that I only had time to walk across the bridge and back. I was happy to oblige. I had heard of this bridge, that it was considered a feat of Japanese engineering, but I couldn't remember why. I was midway across when it suddenly occurred to me: There's nothing connecting this bridge to the ground ... it's held aloft by several cables running between two mountain peaks. Miyazaki, like most of Japan, is also known for its seismic activity. I quickened my pace and made it back to the cab just in time to set off for my next meeting.

9 comments:

garnett109 said...

No freakin' way would you get me on that bridge unless there was a life time supply of apple fritters!

barb said...

wow--that looked like a long walk!! does your mother worry about you?? Barb

Beth said...

Wow, that looks gorgeous! Did it sway as you walked across? Talk about vertigo!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

That would be an awesome experience. You are very fortunate to be able to travel to such places. I am sure your adrenaline was a pumping :o)

Lynne said...

I bet the view was spectacular! I am with Ken, my adrenaline would be pumping! Glad you made it to the next meeting!

Saltydawg said...

That looked like a scene from I'm a celebrity get me outta here...I bet you sure felt like one on that bridge!
Gaz ;-)

emikk said...

So, Marty, you crapped out halfway across? This isn't a bridge to nowhere you know, in fact I bet there is a Starbux on the other side and you could've got a half caf and one of those apple fritters!

Marty said...

Hi Emmik --
Nope ... I didn't crap out, I walked all the way across and back. The bridge really wasn't shaky or wobbly at all ... very sturdy (which is why I think it's so famous). However, it was kind of disconcerting knowing that there didn't seem to be the usual supports connecting the bridge to the ground. Oh, and there wasn't any Starbucks on the other side ... just a pine forrest.
Best,
Marty

Traci said...

I don't think I would have been able to set foot on it! It looks gorgeous! Good to know there was no sway. That would have done me in!