Iya Valley Area祖谷エリア
Vine-made suspension bridge over the Iya River. A 200 meter high cliff created by the river.
Situated in the western part of Tokushima and located almost in the center of Shikoku, the Iya area is one of the three most unexplored regions of Japan, and forms a part of the Mt. Tsurugi Quasi-National Park. Deep in the bosom of Mt. Tsurugi, the second tallest mountain in Shikoku, the region is surrounded by mountains in the Shikoku Mountain range, with a deep valley formed among the mountains cut through by the Iya River, a tributary of the Yoshino River.
Nana Magari (Seven Curves) is known as the most dangerous spot in the valley. Manneken Pis stands on the overhanging rock and as the tale goes, it was build there to ward off the young daredevils who would come here to urinate off the rock to show their bravery. It stands at a height of 200 meters from the bottom of the valley and it will make you cringe just by glancing down below.
The vine bridge over the Iya River is called Iya no Kazurabashi and this suspension bridge is 45 meters long and 2 meters wide, and is 14 meters above the water. Rebuilt every three years, this bridge is designated as a national important folkloric property and is one of Japan's three rare bridges. If you go deeper upstream into the recesses of Iya, you will find a double vine bridge which consists of a female and male bridge and is called the Oku Iya Double Vine Bridge.
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.