From Nahari it is about a two hour train ride to Oboke, which is located in Tokushima prefecture, another of the four prefectures of Shikoku.
When we arrived, there wouldn't be any buses running for another couple of hours.
In fact the amount of buses running were sparse (total of 4 per day!), so we split a cab with another couple going in the same direction and headed for the Iya area (about 20 minutes from Oboke).
On a side note: The kanji (chinese characters) for Oboke literally mean "big-walk-danger"...let me tell you it is definitely not an area to be walking...all hill!
The taxi dropped us off at Iya no Kazurabashi...a suspension bridge that is made out of vines!
Apparently these type of vine bridges were plentiful in this area back in the day.
They were made of natural materials so that they could easily be cut if enemy were in hot pursuit.
These days there are actual wires supporting the bridge, but apparently the bridge itself is made of only vines and wood.
The vines are changed every 3 years...
Admission is 550 yen per person.
You know, I was brave enough to cross the suspension bridge in Nara, but this bridge was too krazy for me!
I mean, you could see the water rushing down below.
And every time you took a step you needed to look down at your feet (at least I needed to)...
I tried two times but chickened out.
A waste of 550 yen for me, instead I was happy to be in charge of taking Satoshi's picture as he crossed.
If you click on the photo, you may be able to see him (bright blue shirt).
That bridge is 45 meters long (147 feet), 2 meters wide (6 feet), 14 meters above the water (45 feet)...krazy, right?!
The Biwa Falls on the other side of the bridge was something to see.
Since we had some time to kill before the bus to Kubo, we decided to grab something for lunch...Iya soba at Ikoi Shokudo.
These noodles are thick, dense...not like the soba noodles we were used to.
Deko mawashi are skewers with potato, tofu and konnyaku (devil's tongue jelly), which are cooked over coals and slathered with some dengaku (sweet miso).
Apparently when it is flipped over it resembles a doll dancing, so it is called "deko mawashi".
The hour long bus ride from Kazurabashi to Kubo was winding and hair raising, since the road is mostly one laned, at some curves we almost came head-on with cars not familiar with the roadways...eep!
I've attached a photo of the width of the road and the bus...
The ryokan sent a mini-van to pick us up and it was another 20 minutes from Kubo to the property.
Iyashi no Onsen-kyo is only open 6 months of the year. From November until April they are closed because there is too much snow and too dangerous for people to be roaming around the roadways.
I appreciated having tv & wifi especially since we were in an area where I had no cell signal.
Dinner was an array of local delicacies, but there was just too much food and instead of wasting, we asked if they could stop serving us some of the courses.
It was another long day, but we were glad that the weather was just overcast and not rainy like it was forecast to be.
Iyashi no Onsen-kyo