Today we start our drive across Shikoku Island. We leave Tokushima about 10:00 and slowly make our way into the forest and up in elevation.
As we climb, the road gets curvy and the mist gets thicker. The vegetation is deep green with moss everywhere.
We have two stops to make today before we reach our accommodation for the night. The first stop is at the Oku-Iya Niju Kazurabashi (Double Vine Bridge). The path down to the bridges is well constructed and maintained. We are surprised at the bridges when we descend to them as they are held together by thick vines, and nicely hidden strong steel cables. The walk across is a breath holding experience as the boards are separated so we have a great view of the creek rushing past many metres below us.
Our second stop is the Scarecrow Village (the Valley of the Dolls). A woman moved back to her small hometown after getting fed up with living in the big city. She was saddened to see so many people gone from the village, so she started creating people to populate the village.
All along the road there are characters going about their daily lives – the potter, construction workers, farmers. There are folks waiting for the bus, attending a wedding, playing in the haystacks and taking a snooze. From behind they almost look like real people. It is a charming stop on our journey.
We are staying the night at the Kazurabashi Hotel. One of two nights in very fancy places. This hotel has indoor and outdoor onsens (hot pools) for soaking in. The men and women are separated as soaking is done in the nude. After we check in we partake in a soothing soak with a gorgeous view of the Iya Valley, it refreshes us.
Supper is an experience. Very Japanese. We are not sure what we are eating……
Except the fish…..
By the by the food pics were taken by our friend L.