Monday, December 07, 2009

Shikoku Camping Part 3 - Iya Valley

December 7, 2009

May 4, 5 and 6 2009

We had another long day of driving on our way to Iya Valley.

On our way, we saw these beautiful carp flags for children’s day.

Stefan, our awesome driver. "Theees is not zeee autoban!"

Yumi, Julian and Rachel, our lovely backseat drivers.

We also saw lots of pilgrims along the way. Shikoku is a popular destination because of the 88 temple pilgrimage that’s associated with the priest, Kukai. As we traveled throughout the island, we often saw pilgrims walking, biking or riding trains, buses and ferries around Shikoku usually with a walking stick wearing a straw hat, a backpack and a vest with “dogoyo futari” written in kanji on their jackets, meaning, “two traveling together”. Julian is planing his own pilgrimage in 2010. He will push a peanut with his nose and visit all 88 temples.

We found a campsite next to the river also near an onsen, and a little amusement park. It was raining a bit, but we were happy to get out of the car. We made dinner and went to onsen.

The next day, we visited the famous vine bridge called Kazurabashi.
It's now reinforced with heavy metal wiring.

There was an hour long wait to cross the bridge, so Yumi and I
went to the end of the bridge and took a picture as if we had just crossed it.

Grilled river fish.

We also visited Chiori, a restored, traditional house in Iya Valley. Yumi had visited about a year ago and had left her sweatshirt, so we stopped by for a short visit. The purchase and restoration of Chiori was documented in a well-known book called, Lost Japan by Alex Kerr. It was in the mountains in a beautiful area of the valley. I think it only costs 3,000 yen per/night to stay in the house. Here is their website: Chirori.

Yumi and Stefan had to get back to Himeji for work. They left us and then there were three, me, Julian and Rachel. We stayed another night in Iya Valley and then packed up and grabbed a taxi to the train station to head for the beach in southeastern Shikoku.

Getting There: Get off at Oboke Train Station. Take a taxi or a bus to the campsite. We drove, so I don't have much information on how to get there.

The campsite had nice bathrooms, no showers but there was a nearby onsen, a cooking area and barbecues.

Campsite: Iya-Fureai Park 祖谷ふれあい公園 
Phone number: 088-376-8585
Cost: 1,500yen for a site
Website: Iya-Fureai Park

1 comment:

Gwynne said...

LOL "had dinner and went to onsen."