At the risk of sounding clickbaity, you really won’t believe what we found.

If ghosts are the spirits of dead people, you have to figure a city like Tokyo with a long, violent history and a population of over 13 million is crawling with them. And the most haunted place in this town with so much potential for haunting is supposedly Kohoku Bridge. We sent our Japanese-language reporter Ryo to visit in the dead of night to see if he could scare up some spooks. Here’s his report:

Tokyo’s Adachi Ward. It’s the third largest out of 23 and famous as the birthplace of Japanese actor and artist Beat Takeshi. But did you know it also has the capital’s most haunted spot, the Kohoku Bridge?

The 449-meter (1,473-foot) bridge crosses the Arakawa River and has long been a hot spot for spirit sightings. It’s also said that if you cross the bridge at night, you’ll be cursed! So is it true? Let’s find out!

On a search for the truth
At first, finding out the truth was really my only motivation for going, as a friend had mentioned  that the bridge was really scary and that he’d seen ghosts there on three occasions. Ghosts are scary, but day by day, a curiosity about the unknown began to build and I felt like I had to get on my bike and go see it for myself. It’s almost like I was being summoned…


In the freezing winter cold, I got on my bike and set the bridge as my destination in my smartphone. The desire to discover if the rumors were true added strength to each turn of the pedal. Watch out, ghosts, here I come! Booooooo!


Curiosity and fear
At just past two in the morning, I arrived at Kohoku Bridge. Surrounded by a pitch black embankment, the bridge was sparsely lit here and there by yellow streetlights. In that dark and ominous atmosphere, I began to feel anxious and afraid.


Standing at the foot of the bridge, not a single figure was in sight, but perhaps at this late hour it would be more unusual to see someone. Suppose I see someone coming towards me, I thought, as I stepped out onto the bridge… That disquieting image floated through my mind, but I gathered my wits and resolved to make it across no matter what.


What is waiting on that deserted stretch? Honestly, I was starting to get scared. I realized I had no plan for what I would do if a ghost actually appeared. Should I turn back? Well, I’d come this far and my friend would probably laugh if I didn’t go through with this. Plus, that curiosity was drawing me onward.


Finally, I reached the midway point. I shivered, wondering if there was a ghost lurking in the shadows of the arch.


There was no car traffic, so I was totally alone on the bridge. It was the kind of complete silence that signals you’ve stepped into haunted territory. The urge to flee built… The sound of my racing heart was so loud surely anyone or anyTHING nearby could hear it! Arghhhh, save me, Mommy!!!!

At the end of the bridge
Finally, the end of the bridge was in sight. If I wanted to avoid being cursed for crossing the bridge, now was the moment to turn back… A cold sweat broke out all over, but I psyched myself up and crossed the final few steps.

“I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU, GHOSTS! DO YOUR WORST!” I blurted. Even now, I’m not sure where that came from.

And at that moment, I saw…



… at the foot of the bridge…



Who in the world left that there, and when? It couldn’t possibly be an offering to the spirits, could it? I didn’t have a good look at the content, but with a title like “Young Playthings” it must be full of all kinds of deep insights. Fascinating. I was suddenly more interested in meeting the owner and sharing a drink and some adult conversation than in encountering any ghosts.

Anyway, I think we can conclude that Kohoku Bridge is indeed a mysterious place.

By the way, it’s been a few days and I haven’t seen any signs of being cursed, but any readers wishing to check out Kohoku Bridge or any of Japan’s other haunted spots, you should do so at their own risk. You never know what you might find…

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