There are some places in the world that are hard to believe until you actually see them. The vine bridges in the Iya Valley are like something out of Indiana Jones. There were at least 13 bridges in the old days used to cross the river in the valley but today only 3 of them remain. All of the 3 are in excellent condition though. The biggest (45 meters long and 14 meters above the rushing water below) and the most popular to cross (probably because it is the easiest to get to) is the Kazurabashi Bridge. I expected my 7 year old to refuse to cross but he surprised me by crossing faster than I did! And by the time we go to the third bridge he wasn’t even holding on!
The other 2 vine bridges are further up in the valley and sit side by side. They are often referred to as the husband and wife bridges or the male and female bridge. In Japanese they are Oku-Iya Kazurabashi. Both of these bridges are again in excellent condition and are fantastic to walk over. Close to them is the Wild Monkey Bridge, which is a wooden cart suspend on a rope over the river and with this one you climb inside and pull yourself across the river.
I cannot recommend this part of Japan enough, it truly is fantastic. I have to say though it is probably much easier to visit if you can hire a car and drive around. Which isn’t for those scared of driving as the road are quite narrow with passing areas along the way. Still it is worth the effort. If you do go I also highly recommend the Kazurabashi Ryokan. It is a truly amazing experience in itself. It even has a cable car up to the top of the hill to use the Onsen baths. There is also a foot spa and a gorgeous tea house up there with beautiful views. Truly amazing!
Japan is just awesome!