Shinkyo bridge is one of the most historically famous bridges in Japan. A couple of years ago it was completely refurbished. It is a red vermillion lacquered bridge and belongs to Futarasan Shrine in Nikko. The bridge was dedicated as a World Heritage site in 1999.
The legend of the bridge is that in 766 the founder of Nikko, Buddhist monk Shodo Shonin, attempted to cross the Daiya river but could not. He prayed for help and was answered when a Buddhist god appeared and released two snakes. The snakes then formed the bridge allowing Shodo Shonin to cross. Hence the name "Snake Bridge."
It is possible the bridge was formed as early as the late Nara period (710-794). Through much of its history, only samurai generals or court representatives could cross Shinkyo. Commoners had to cross the river by a nearby temporary bridge. In 1902, the bridge was washed out in a flood and rebuilt in 1904.