We didn’t have a lot planned for our trip today but to just take it easy and enjoy the weather. The sun was out and it was the first day the sun had appeared from behind the clouds. We were heading towards an abandoned town which is know for the new locals that occupy the buildings, the drive is about 3 hours. Along the way we stopped at this cable bridge which hangs above the crystal clear rive. In the photo above you can see the river on either side of the bridge.
We arrived at Doll Village, yes those occupants are life sized dolls. There is one lady (to my knowledge) who still lives in this abandoned town and spends her time making these dolls to repopulate the town. Everywhere you look there are dolls in the fields, trees, atop of houses. I first came to this doll village back in 2015 and the noticeable difference is how the towns population has grown in those two years. There is a man with a safety sign as you enter the town saying ‘Please take care’. Donald Trump is also seen waiting at the bus stop…
We continued on towards the Oku-Iya double vine bridges. In the Iya region there was once thirteen bridges but only 3 remain in two places. The two I was going to see today are in Oku-Iya and the other in Zentoku of Nishi-Iyayamamura. The entry fee was 500 yen which worked out to be about $6.00 Australian dollars.
Once you have paid for your ticket you follow a pathway down into the mountain side. The trees tower over you as you descend further into the forest. It is a steep walk but the pathway is all paved making it a easy walk. Halfway you are greeted with the first vine bridge.
The Oku-Iya bridges are believed to have been suspended 800 years ago by the Heike Clan who fled into these mountains after losing the battle of Shido-no-Ura in the Kagawa prefecture. The bridges were important for trade and were the main access path to go riding and for training the warriors.
After seeing the Oku-Iya bridges we heading back to our house and had a BBQ with some friends. We finished our night with great food and company and many good laughs.
Until tomorrows adventure, happy gardening!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs