Iya Valley is one of Japan’s most hidden valleys and is definitely off the beaten path. Until recently one would have to hike for days to reach the valley. This made it an ideal hide-out for criminals and samurai who lost favor with their masters. The remoteness has its advantages and disadvantages: its beauty is unspoiled, but the area has a poor transportation system.
The valley was cut by the Yoshinogawa River which offers some of Japan’s best rafting, and there’s a rafting company with English speaking guides. Let your Japan travel expert know if you want to try river rafting.
Iya Valley is divided into two areas. West Iya is known locally as “Nishi Iya” and East Iya is known as “Higashi Iya” or “Okku Iya.” There is also an area called Miyoshi.
Iya Valley’s main attractions are its natural beauty and the vine bridges that span some of the gorges. The most popular one is located in West Iya and is close to the main village. The bridge is open from sun up to sun down and costs about 500 yen to cross. This might seem like a lot but the maintenance of these bridges is not cheap. This bridge has been reinforced with steel cables so there is no danger of breaking.
East Iya has the more atmospheric Oku-Iya Vine Bridges. One bridge is called the husband bridge and the other one is the wife bridge. They are reminiscent of what you might see in an Indian Jones movie.
There are a number of onsen (hot spring) ryokan inns and your Japan travel expert will arrange for you to stay at one of them.
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The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.
It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.
Your Japan travel expert will create your trip just for you
Your interests and travel style will be front and center when designing your tour
Accommodations will be selected based on your style and we will inform them of all your special meal and physical requirements
Your Japan expert has lived in Japan or is Japanese
They know the hidden treasures of Japan that you will love and most tourists miss
Most of our team lives in Japan giving them first hand knowledge of the latest trends and experiences for you to enjoy
Private local guides add a whole new depth to your Japanese tour
We only hire the best guides and review each trip with them insuring excellent experience
Your private guide will listen to you, show you sights of interest and will make on the fly changes to match the weather and crowds
Our office in Japan is here to assist and support you
Rediscover Tours has been organizing travel to Japan since 2000
You will arrive comfortable in the knowledge that all details are taken care of and that our Japan office is just a call away