Vine Bridges

Honestly, I am so afraid of heights, but the trip getting here was so challenging that when we finally arrived it didn’t feel as scary as anticipated.

The Iya Valley is, as mentioned before, a remote, mountainous valley in western Shikoku. It is located deep in the heart, and the secluded valley is characterized by steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges. Traditionally these gorges and rivers were crossed by vine bridges. Three of the vine bridges, Iya Kazurabashi and Oku-Iya Kazurabashi are maintained to this day and remain some of the most popular attractions of the area. That being said, it is by no means crowded (as many of other Japanese tourist attractions are). Upom arrival we met one other family, and when we let one couple came by as well.

There are two bridges, the Man Bridge and the Woman Bridge, together called the Wedded Bridge. Beside the Woman Bridge, you can experience riding a human-powered lift, yaen, and cross the valley by hauling on a rope. We did both bridges and the lift. We also spend time by the beautiful river and the waterfall. Given that we got lost on the way coming here, and it therefore took us 2 1/2 hours to find it, we needed a little extra time to recover. Once again we were stunned by all the beauty of Shikoku and Iya Valley. In my dreams I still see this scenery for me and hope to return one day.

 

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