Kazurabashi Rope Bridge
Kazurabashi Rope Bridge Tokushima Reviews
A thrilling experience crossing the valley! May 09, 2013
The famous Kazurabashi bridge, made of mountain vines (kazurabashi), is suspended 14 meters above the Iya River. It is anchored to tall cedar trees at both ends and has steel cables hidden within the vines for safety. The bridge is 45 meters long, 2 meter wide and is rebuilt every three years.
Crossing the vine bridge was quite an experience. Looking down through the open slates of the bridge at the stream running below, while it was swaying while I walk across it, certainly make my heart beat an extra beat. It's an understatement to say that I had butterflies in my stomach.
The Iya region at the bottom of Shikoku mountains is linked to the historical legend of the Genpei battle in 12th century between the Heike ant the Genji Clans, where the young Emperor Antoku protected by Taira no Kunimori and other members of the Heike Clan fled after loosing the battle of Yashima and settled there vowing for the eventual restoration to the power (it was not to be).
Katzubashi is one of the three rarest bridges in Japan. The suspension bridges were one of the only ways to easily move people and goods across the river of the Iya Valley. History is unclear about their origin. Legends say that they were either first raised by Kodo Daishi, the founder of Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism in the 8th century, or by Heike refugees hiding in the area after their defeat in the Gempei War (1180-1185).
Crossing the bridge is possible between 9 am - 5 pm and it cost 500 yen, and it can be crossed in one direction only. If you don´t have a car you can reach Iya Kazurabashi by bus from Awa Ikeda (70 minutes, 1250 yen, 7 buses per day) or from Oboke Stations (20 minutes, 640 yen, 4-8 buses per day).
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