Iya is deep in the mountains of Miyoshi city, Tokushima prefecture.
Counted as one of Japans three most secluded areas, there is an area further in the back regions, called Okuiya.
Though we’re already in a secluded area, we go further…
It's really isolated here, but apparently there’s a railway on that hill.
This is actually a sightseeing monorail that tours around Okuiya's natural landscape.
Of particular note is its length!
It's an astounding 4,600 meters long!!
There is a height variation of 590 meters, a maximum slope angle of 40 degrees, and the highest part is 1,380 meters above sea level making it the number one sightseeing monorail in the world.
The starting point is 790 meters above sea level.
Getting on the rhinoceros beetle styled monorail car for two, you depart on a 65-minute journey.
The first half is spent climbing steadily along the slanted mountain surface, heading towards the mountaintop.
You can take a refreshing forest-bath while gazing at the great variety of trees and shrubs.
Every once in a while there will be a sign showing your current height above sea level.
When you reach the mountaintop, your field of vision opens up in an instant, and Tokushima prefecture's highest peak, Mount Tsurugi is right in front of your eyes!
This is the best time for taking pictures. Don't miss the chance!
Also, if you're lucky, you may see wild deer! Their heart-shaped bottoms are very cute!
Let me correct myself, the best time to take photographs is if you come across one of these little fellows.
After riding the monorail, you can enter the linked hot springs "Iyashi no Onsenkyo" (Healing Hot Spring Village) for free, so let's heat up that chilled body.
If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of city life, how about visiting the world's best forest bath?
Okuiya Kanko Shuyu Monorail (Okuiya Sight-seeing tour monorail)
Location: 28 Sugeoi, Higashi-Iya, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture (Linked with Iyashi no Onsenkyo)
Open: From April to September 8.30 – 16.00, From October to November 8.30 – 15.30
Holidays: Wednesdays (Open on public holidays), winter holidays run from December to March
Fee : Adults JPY2000, Elementary school students JPY800, Children not yet elementary school age – Free
HP: http://iyashino-onsenkyo.com/ (Japanese)
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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