Iya's most famous feature is its trio of kazura-bashi (vine bridges) spanning its gorges. The most popular—referred to by most signs, maps, and locals simply as "Kazura-bashi"—is 20 minutes from Oboke Station. A less-visited pair are closer to Mt. Tsurugi. The bridges date back 800 years, to the aftermath of the momentous Gempei War, when the defeated Heike clan fled to these valleys after losing to the rival Minamoto clan. If the refugees were attacked, they
could cut the vines at a moment's notice. These days, thin steel wires reinforce the precarious planks, and fresh vines are restrung every three years, but it still feels death-defying to cross the boards over the rivers. To visit the more popular bridge, follow signs to Kazura-bashi from Route 32 or Route 45. If you're driving, park in the cheaper lots up the hill. The tall waterfall down the path is free, but you'll pay to cross the bridge.
Nishi-Iya Sanzon Village, Miyoshi City, 778-0102, Japan