We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Astronomy

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Is a Moon Bridge?

By Tara Barnett
Updated: May 21, 2024

A moon bridge, which is sometimes called a drum bridge, is a decorative pedestrian structure that is often placed over water, giving it the basic form of a bridge. This type of bridge can be made from any number of materials and is defined, not by the way it bears weight, but by the tall, rounded shape under the bridge. The half-circle shape is designed in such a way that when water is under the bridge it is reflected into a full circle, giving the appearance of a full moon or a drum. In many areas, this type of bridge is purely decorative, but at one time constructing a moon bridge was an excellent way to allow boat traffic beneath the bridge and foot traffic above without requiring a gradual approach for the bridge.

Most people associate this type of bridge with Japan, where the design originated. It is a bridge design well suited to narrow flows of water that might be found in canals or decorative gardens. In most cases, the ascent and descent used to cross the bridge are quite steep, and therefore it is not practical to make this bridge too large. Sometimes, the bridge is so steep that it must be climbed like a ladder using rungs affixed to the bridge itself. This type of bridge is therefore not often wheelchair accessible, and alternative accommodations must be made.

There are two basic types of moon bridges relating to how the bridge is designed. A beam bridge design does not require a long support on either side and can be created in the appropriate shape of an arch. Arch bridge versions of the moon bridge, on the other hand, do require longer approaches in order to remain stable. Depending on the situation, either design may be appropriate.

In certain cases, a bridge might bear the distinctive half-circle design of a moon bridge but lack the climbing aspect. For many people, these are still considered moon bridges because of their appearance. Others believe that this design should be restricted to those bridges that are highly steep.

The visual effect of this bridge makes it a popular design for gardens, particularly those with water or small paths. Even though most people associate this type of bridge with Japan, it is also frequently seen in other styles of Asian gardens. Depending on the decorations and embellishments used on the bridge as well as the materials from which the bridge is made, a moon bridge can look quite different from the traditional steep Japanese design.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Share
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.