Iya Valley Area祖谷エリア
Vine-made suspension bridge over the Iya-gawa River. A 200-meter-high cliff created by the river.
Situated in the western part of Tokushima and nearly in the center of Shikoku, the Iya area is one of the three large "hidden mountain regions" in Japan, forming a part of Mt. Tsurugi Quasi-National Park. Deep in the bosom of Mt. Tsurugi-san, the second tallest mountain in Shikoku, the region is surrounded by mountains in the Shikoku Mountain district, with a deep valley formed among the mountains cut through by the limpid Iya-gawa River, a tributary of the Yoshino-gawa River.
Nana-Magari (seven curves) is known as the most dangerous spot in the valley. On a rock overhanging there stands a lovely Manikin Piss, because of the tale that says travelers used to urinate from the spot to show their bravery. The height of the rock, 200 meters above sea level, makes you cringe just glancing down below.
The vine bridge over the Iya-gawa River, called "Iya-no-Kazura-bashi," is a 45-meter-long and 2-meter-wide suspension bridge with a height of 14 meters from the water level. Designated a national important folkloric property as one of Japan's three rare bridges, the bridge is rebuilt every three years. If you go deeper upstream into the recesses of Iya, you will find a double vine bridge made up of female and male bridges, called "Oku-iya Niju Kazura-bashi."
From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 15 min from Haneda to Tokushima Airport, and 30 min by bus from the airport to Tokushima Station. 1h 10 min from Tokushima to Awa Ikeda Station by JR Tokushima Line (limited express), and 50 min by bus from the station to Iya-Onsen-mae or 1h 10 min to Kazura-bashi.