The wonderful sightseeing spot of “Iya” is located deep in the mountains of Miyoshi, Tokushima.
As well as being one of the main hot spring areas in Japan, this pristine wilderness is one of the country’s three most secluded areas.
Designated as a ‘Nationally Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property’, the famous “Kazurabashi” suspension bridge is 45m long, 2m wide, and 14m above the surface of Iyagawa river.
This suspension bridge is made from a plant called Hardy Kiwi. You can actually cross it in daytime, but please be careful; it swings quite wildly!
As the space between each bridge plate under your feet is wide, every time you take a step it rocks – it’s full of thrills!
If you look around, you are surrounded by beautiful natural greenery, and if you look down, you can see the crystal clear Iyagawa River. Just crossing “Kazurabashi” bridge is really fun, but it has a big secret… well, more of a legend really…
Within the plant world, Hardy Kiwi is relatively strong.
But, as you can imagine from the fact the bridge rocks so wildly, the material doesn’t have long-lasting durability. In fact, compared with wood, you can say that Hardy Kiwi is not really suitable for bridge building!
So, why was Hardy Kiwi used for the bridge?
They say the answer lies within the “Legend of Heike”.
In 1185, the “Yashima no Tatakai (Battle of Yashima)” was fought between Genji (Minamoto clan) and Heiji (Taira clan). In a bid to survive having lost the battle, they say that Taira no Kunimori fled deep into the mountains of Iya.
“Kazurabashi” Bridge is one piece of evidence that supports the “Legend of Heike” in Iya. How so?
If the Minamoto clan was to send a party in pursuit of Taira no Kunimori, he could easily cut down a bridge made of Hardy Kiwi.
Famous as a ‘power spot’ today, the 50m high “Biwa no Taki” waterfall is located near the bridge. They say the defeated Heike clan consoled each other by playing Biwa (Japanese lute) here.
Knowing this historic background doubles or maybe trebles the sightseeing enjoyment of visitors!
Oh, and at the food stands around there, you can eat grilled freshwater fish, Iya noodles, and “Deko mawashi” (grilled tofu and yam cake with Miso paste on a stick). Please try them!
Location: 162-2 Zentoku, Nishi’iyayamamura, Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima
TEL: 0120-404-344 (Miyoshi City Visitor Center)
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset (For visitors to see its fantastic form, “Kazurabashi” bridge is lit up every night from 19:00 – 21:00. *During these hours, the bridge cannot be crossed)
Closed: Open everyday
Admission: Adults 550 yen, Elementary school students (7-12 years old) 350 yen
Parking: 293 spaces available
Website (English): http://www.miyoshinavi.jp/english/02miru/detail.php?genr=101&uid=SS000048
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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