Iya Valley - Japanspecialist

Iya Valley

Magnificent wilderness in the heart of Shikoku.

About Iya Valley
Iya Valley is located between Takamatsu and Kochi in the heart of Shikoku Island. The best way to visit the area is by car rental, which we can help organise. The roads leading into the valley swing along mountain slopes and can be very narrow in some places.

Steep mountains, breath-taking gorges and wooden suspension bridges
The most visited attraction in Iya Valley is the Kazurabashi Bridge. Once upon a time, the valley had 13 bridges, but today this is one of only three that remain. The bridge is 45 meters long and is made of wooden slats intricately woven together with mountain vines, as has been a tradition here for hundreds of years. The vines, however, are fortified with steel cables, and the bridge is regularly rebuilt, so it is perfectly safe. Nonetheless, walking across the bridge is still a somewhat daunting experience, as one looks down through the gaps to the Iya River running below! The valley also offers beautiful cable car rides leading to hiking trails suitable for all levels of fitness. Another gorgeous sight is the crystal-clear water and steep cliffs at Oboke Gorge. It is best experienced on a boat cruise along a quieter part of the river.

Other attractions in Iya Valley
Historically, the valley has always been a remote place. Because of this isolation, locals have managed to maintain rituals and traditions that are otherwise slowly disappearing in modern Japan. Visit a ‘chiiori’ (traditional thatched house) for an experience of this. The area also has many onsen (hot springs), and for a fee, you can use them as a day guest. Some onsen are so remote that you have to use a cable car to get there.