Japanese Covered Bridge is seen as a symbol of Hoi An ancient town, also known as Pagoda Bridge or Chua Cau or Lai Vien Kieu.
This nearly-20m bridge connects the 2 major streets of Hoi An’s Old Quarter: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St. and Tran Phu St., looking over the peaceful Thu Bon River.
Since the building of this site was started in 1593 – year of the monkey and finished in 1595 –year of the dog, a pair of these two animals’ statues has been placed at both ends. They represent for the guardians of the bridge.
The Japanese bridge has been renovated a total of seven times over the centuries.
The wooden sign at the entrance of the bridge was hung in the early 1700s, changing the name from "Japanese Covered Bridge" to "Bridge for Travelers from Afar". Previously, the bridge had changed names several times, from Lai Vien Kieu
"Pagoda in Japan"; to Chua Cau
"Covered Bridge"; to Cau Nhat Ban
During their colonial hegemony, the French removed thresholds and leveled the road across the bridge to support motorized vehicles during their colonization. The changes were later undone and the bridge pedestrianized again during major restoration in 1986.
Inside the Japanese Covered Bridge in Hoi An, there is a pagoda of the northern god Tran Vo Bac De. This god is considered to be the god of weather. People believe that he controls all kinds of weather changes and natural calamities.