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Featured Destination on our Southern Japan Tours vacation series.
Situated in the western part of Tokushima and nearly in the center of Shikoku, the Iya area is one of the three large hidden mountain regions in Japan, forming a part of Mt. Tsurugi Quasi-National Park. Deep in the bosom of Mt. Tsurugi-san, the second tallest mountain in Shikoku, the region is surrounded by mountains in the Shikoku Mountain district, with a deep valley formed among the mountains cut through by the limpid Iya-gawa River, a tributary of the Yoshino-gawa River. The valley is famous for a few tourist attractions, including river rafting & water boats, traditional thatched-roof huts and landmarks, and the eerie Scarecrow Village.
One of the most iconic (and oddest) attractions in Iya Valley is the Peeing Boy Statue perched above the cliffs of the mountains. Although it baffles tourists at first, the statue is dedicated to the past time in Iya Valley where young boys would prove their manhood by urinating as close to the edge of the steep cliff as possible. This symbol of courage stands around 200 meters high and is an interesting representation to life in Iya Valley from another era.
Please Remember: While urinating off the side of the cliff was once considered an innocent act to prove your courage, Japan Deluxe Tours and almost all Japan guide books & travel websites recommend tourists to not attempt to do so during their Shikoku travels.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Iya Valley are the incredible vine bridges connecting the mountains. The vine bridge over the Iya-gawa River, called "Iya-no-Kazura-bashi"f, is a 45-meter-long and 2-meter-wide suspension bridge with a height of 14 meters from the water level. Designated a national important folkloric property as one of Japan's three rare bridges, the delicate vine bridge is rebuilt every three years to retain it's strength. If you go deeper upstream into the recesses of Iya, you will find a double vine bridge made up of female and male bridges, called "Oku-iya Niju Kazura-bashi". It was believed these vine bridges were not only used as a means to connect villages, but also to stop invaders from attacking by cutting the bridges down during times of battle.
While you may not be able to prove your bravery peeing off the edge of the mountain, crossing the vine bridge is another fun way to test your courage while traveling through Southern Japan. Join Japan Deluxe Tours as we cross one of the vine bridges of Iya Valley during select Southern Japan tour packages through Shikoku. Don't forget to ask your travel agent about our affordable deals and discounts to plan a private tour with your own personal tour guide.
Waterfall Beautiful All Four Seasons and Illuminated in the Summer
Unique sight created by water movement between high and low tides
Most Famous Dance Festival in Japan - Awa Odori
Largest suspension bridge for pedestrians in Japan with spectacular scenery
Popular Rafting Spot in Shikoku
Village with more scarecrows than people
Shikoku's Second Longest River
Human-Powered Edo-period wooden cable cars