03
Vine Bridges in the Iya Valley
This ancient vine bridge is suspended between a valley, surrounded on both sides of by ancient forest, slowly swaying in the breeze.With its shadow reflecting against the clear waters of the Iya River, the bridge is in total harmony with nature throughout the four seasons, creating a truly beautiful sight.The vine bridge has been maintained by the village people for generations, and gives visitors an insight into how people in the region lived in the past.
One of Japan's 3 most peculiar bridges, located in the remote Iya valley

What is a vine bridge?

Actinidia arguta vines, harvested from the mountains during the harsh winter, were woven together to form vine bridges. These became extremely important lifelines for people in the region, and were common along the Iya Valley at one time. Now, however only the Iya Vine Bridge located in Nishiiyayama Village in the west, and the "Oku-Iya Double Vine Bridge" in east Iya, remain. Theories of the origins of the bridges vary, with some saying that they were built by the Buddhist monk Kukai to assist the villagers, and others saying they were made by defeated Heike soldiers fleeing from pursuers.

Iya Vine Bridge

Located in Nishiiyayama Village in Miyoshi city, this bridge is known as one of the 3 most peculiar bridges in Japan. Built from actinidia arguta vines amassing a total of 5 tons, the bridge is completely rebuilt every 3 years.
Visitors will experience the thrill of feeling how the bridge sways with every step!

Entry: Adults - 550 yen, Children - 350 yen
Open: Sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year

Oku-Iya Double Vine Bridge

Located 1 hour by car from the Iya Vine Bridge, and situated deep in the mountains, the Oku-Iya Double Vine Bridge consists of two bridges, called the male and female bridge.
The bridges were said to have been built approximately 800 years ago by members of the Heike clan who had been defeated in battle by the Genji clean, to allow them to travel to horse-riding grounds for riding practice. The mountain, river, and bridge are in total harmony, creating a beautiful spectacle. A must see for visitors.

Entry: Adults - 550 yen, Children - 350 yen
Open: Sunrise to sunset, closed during winter (Dec 1 - March 31 of following year)

A nostalgic local flavor

Near the bridges, Iya local specialties are on offer, such as "Dekomawashi": skewers of satoimo potatos, konnyaku, and tofu, coated in miso paste, as well as grilled and salted sweetfish.

Perfect for staying cool!

The Iya river below the bridges is perfect for water activities in the summer. The area near the double vine bridge has small waterfalls, which cool down the surrounding air.