Miyoshi Things to Do
Cross the old bridge
This bridge is very much a relic of the old days, where a retreating force could cut across the bridge, and then cut it so that the other side could not chase after them.
Thankfully reinforced these days, it is possible to cross over for 500 yen. Much harder that you think!
Oboke Gorge (Oboke-kyo) is a gorge created by the Yoshino River. It is one of the scenic areas of the Iya Valley. It is one of the most popular places in the area because you can go whitewater rafting here (you need to make your reservations with a rafting company; each has its own rates and offers).
For those that want a better look at the gorge, there are Pleasure Boats that take you on a 30 minute ride down the river and back. You can purchase your tickets (1050 yen) at the Oboke-kyo Mannaka Restaurant and from the restaurant go downstairs to get to the docks and board your boat.
The view from the restaurant and pretty much everywhere overlooking the gorge is excellent, so even if you don't want to go rafting or do the Pleasure Cruise, it is still very easy to enjoy the area.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Kazurabashi Bridge is the most famous of the Iya Valley vine bridges. It spans 45 meters long and 2 meters wide. The vines are made from actinidia arguta and the bridge was originally stabalized by the large trees on each side of the gorge. Today however, steel cables are also used to strengthen the bridge and make sure it's safe for visitors.
Even so, you need to watch your step, because the gaps between each plank are wide enough that a leg could definitely go through, which would be quite frightening! As you cross, do try to look at the water and gorge. It offers a great view!
There are two legends about the origins of the bridge. One is that the Priest Kukai (Kobo Daishi) made it in order to help the local villagers get across the gorge. Another legend is that the Heike clan built the bridge during the Genpei Wars out of vines so they could cut them easily if an enemy tried to cross. Most likely, commoners built the bridge but who knows?
It costs 500 yen to cross the bridge.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Oboke-Kyo Mannaka Restaurant: Iya Soba
Not to be confused with the nearby Mannaka Hotel, the Oboke-kyo Mannaka Restaurant serves traditional dishes, including the local specialty, Iya soba. If you just get the soba, it is less than 500 yen, but the set meals are also very reasonable. The soba is very good, although I'm not sure what makes Iya soba unique, because the visible items are all very typical of the soba restaurants you find throughout the country. I think the noodles themselves are locally made, so perhaps 'Iya soba' is literally the soba rather than the meal.
Outside of the restaurant is a nice gift shop with items representing Oboke and the Iya Valley. For those interested in taking a boat through the gorge, you can buy your tickets here and then go downstairs to the docks where you'll board.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Getting to Iya Valley and Oboke
Oboke Station provides access to the Iya Valley and Oboke. It is located along the JR Dosan Line, so there are trains that come here directly from Kochi and Takamatsu. Some Limited Express Trains also come here directly from Okayama but on those that don't, you can transfer once you reach Shikoku in Sakaide or Takamatsu. If traveling from Matsuyama, you can transfer at Tadotsu Station.
From Oboke Station there are buses to Oboke gorge and the Iya Valley's Kazurabashi Bridge area. The buses are not so frequent. There are also buses to this area from Awa-Ikeda Station.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Adventure Travel