Iya valley, Japan

Navigate the remote secluded valley of Iya

Tucked away the remote, mountainous area of rural Shikoku Island in western Tokushima Prefecture, the Iya Valley is one of Japan’s Three Hidden Valleys that is perfect for some off-the-beaten track outdoor activities. Due to its remoteness, the valley now becomes an increasingly popular tourist destination, known for its dramatic natural environment, thatched roof farmhouses, and a few vestiges of old world Japan. The most famous attraction of Iya is the historic vine bridges constructed of mountain vines and traditionally served as one of the main ways to cross the Iya River. In the past, 13 suspension bridges once spanned the valley, but only three survive today which are the largest Iya Kazurabashi and the twin Oku-Iya Kazurabashi. Though they are reinforced with hidden steel cables for safety, crossing the vine bridges is still an adrenaline-pumping experience. Another place to visit is the Manikin Peeing Boy Statue, located at the edge of a high cliff overlooking the steep surrounding mountains and the turquoise Iya river. If you want to experience Japan’s traditional, rural culture, spend time at Ochiai Village, where you see many historical farm houses dating back to the mid-Edo era as well as witness the rural lifestyle and traditions of the welcoming locals.

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Western Wonders of Japan

Tokyo → Kiso valley → Kyoto → Iya valley → Takamatsu → Hiroshima → Takachiho → Kagoshima → Yakushima
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Walk along cobblestone streets and admire the historic sekisho, or barrier station of Kiso-Fukushima, the largest post town in Kiso valley

Experience the most popular section of Nakasendo ancient trail and explore the well-preserved post towns of Tsumago and Magome

Hop on a fun biking tour around Kyoto, Japan’s cultural capital, and its famed attractions

Explore the hidden gems of Iya Valley, including pristine mountain scenery, ancient vine bridges and historical farm houses

Spend a day relaxing in the pleasant atmosphere of Ritsurin Park and seeing Edo-era heritage buildings in Shikoku Village

Get an exclusive in-depth access to the unique Naoshima island with visits to its museums and artworks scattered throughout the town

Learn part of Japan’s history while visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum

Admire the impressive vermillion gate of Itsukushima Shrine and the sacred Misen Mount on Miyajima Island

Contemplate the spectacular views of Mount Aso from the vantage point of Mount Daikanbo

Enjoy watching Takachiho Kagura Dance, a nightly ceremonial dance performance at Takachiho Shrine

See a close up view of the famous Takachiho Gorge and the 1200 year-old Takachiho Shrine

Take part in a 3-day journey of hiking and exploring the ancient forest trail of Yakushima Island

Discover the volcanic island of Sakurajima and enjoy relaxing time in Nagisa Park Foot Bath

Tokyo → Kiso valley → Kyoto → Iya valley → Takamatsu → Hiroshima → Takachiho → Kagoshima → Yakushima

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