Welcome to our Travel Journal -- Round The World 2004-2005 travel blog

The toll road was very good -- safe, with barriers between lanes,...

Toll roads were straight -- many tunnels, one 21 km. Note the...

This part of Japan, around Tokushima was mountainous and very pretty

Narrow gorge, good sized river, and rugged terrain

Very misty in the Iya valley

Narrow roads, rugged terrain, and people live next to the river --...

Farms terraced up the mountain, and concrete protection from water, everywhere

The Subaru dealership -- hanging off the edge

The first bridge -- a linup to get on, and a circus...

Sign for the paired bridges

One of the paired bridges -- Darlene overcoming her fear

Made it!

The raging torrent below the bridge

Both Mari and Masao had to try this device

Masao in the middle

Great washrooms and public toilets in the most remote of locations.

One of the vine bridges, from the valley

Hot spring location where we stayed -- very nice room, excellent food,...

Green frog


On our second day in Shikoku, we traveled into a remote part of the mountains - into the Iya Valley, a place where the Kyoto Heike clan retreated and hid in the 12th century after being defeated by the Genji clan. The terrain was extremely rugged, there was water everywhere, and the talents of the Japanese engineers were seen through our entire trip. On the expressway, the roads were straight -- we traveled through a 21 km tunnel on one of the toll roads. The bridges were spectacular. The steps taken to manage the water runoff in remote areas was innovative and unexpected. We thought that the mountainous area was very much like Switzerland, and the engineering was very similar. It was a pleasure to travel through this spectacular scenery on a paved road, with the ability to stop at flush toilets and to get a can of coffee from a vending machine. There are hot springs everywhere, and we ended up staying in one where they drilled down 1600 feet to get at the hot water.For the earlier part of our journey, where the tour buses could travel, we saw quite a few people. At the first suspension bridge, it was like 'Disneyland, with many people in line, and people of all ages fighting to get across the bridge. On the second day in Iya, we went to the paired bridges (called fu fu bridges - "husband and wife" bridges) at Hagashi-Iya, about 10 km from where we were staying, and we were the only people there.



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