A pair of bridges deep in the mountains
The Iya Valley in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture is popular for being one of the 3 Great Unexplored Areas in Japan as it retains its unspoiled landscape. The deep V-shaped valley has a total length of 10km stretching alongside the Iya River which is a tributary of the Yoshino River. Over that river is the Okuiya Double Kazura Bridge which has garnered as much popularity as the Iya Valley Vine Bridge whose vine stems have diameters of up to 15cm. By car, it takes about 1 hour from the Iya Valley Vine Bridge over a national road through the mountains to finally reach the remote suspension double bridge.
Try out the double vine bridge and the Yaen Ropeway
Approximately 800 years ago when the Heike clan was defeated in the Genpei War, the clan built the bridges to access their horse training grounds on Mt. Tsurugi. The 2 vine bridges were built alongside each other so they have been also been referred to as either the Male and Female Bridges or the Wedded Bridges. The Male Bridge has been restored as a regular transportation route while the smaller Female Bridge is just upstream. You will also want to try out the Yaen Ropeway which is moved by manpower. Built just beside the Female Bridge, passengers board the basket and pull themselves across the river just like in the olden days. The clear waters of the Iya River can be seen directly below with the deep green forest all around you so that you can view beautiful scenery with the atmosphere of a remote area all around you.
Also enjoy a world-class monorail
At the calming onsen village midway between the Iya Valley Vine Bridge and the Okuiya Double Kazura Bridge, there is the Okuiya Tourist Excursion Monorail which goes slowly during its 65 minutes over a total length of 4600m and a climb of 590m through the forest. Both the length and the height are tops in the world so that you will want to try this monorail out to get that feeling of a mountain climb and a therapeutic walk through the woods.