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Iya Valley Road-Trip - Day 4 Part 2 Pit stop + Ryugugake Park + yet another Pit Stop

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

After we departed from Iya no Kazurabashi bridge, our aim is to reach Mt Tsurugi to hike. It's a long journey, considering the windy roads. As we drove, we oohed and ahhed at the amazing scenery. Every opportunity we had, we would stop by the side, and stare at the mountains.

A pit stop [Google map link] We came through the tunnel, caught this beauty, parked a bit further up, and walked back for 20m to catch this shot.

We got to the bridge that crossed over to Ryugugake Park. For reference, we parked on the north-east side of the bridge. On the other side of the bridge (the south-west side), there is a handful of cottages. There are numerous reviewers raving about their unique experience staying there. [Link to Tripadvisor page]. Would you be up for staying there? Website: It's listed on Agoda.

Driving around Iya Valley is pretty scary. The windy roads are narrow, with certain segments suitable enough for one car to pass through. Drivers here are courteous. Japanese drivers apparently flash their hazard lights twice to thank other drivers.

Another amazing pit-stop we found is much further east of Iya Valley, quite close to Mt Tsurugi. [Google map link] (Hopefully the link brings you to this exact spot)

We're now getting closer to Mt Tsurugi 剣山.

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Looking at doing something similar on a day trip in Shikoku. We will have a rental car and are thinking about visiting Iya Valley and Mount Tsurugi, however google maps is estimating a 5 hour drive between the two places. I just wanted to clarify if this was accurate, and how many hours you guys spent driving on the road? :)

Eka Wong
Eka Wong
Jan 11
Replying to

Hi! Thanks for writing in! From our hotel (Hotel Kagurabashi) to the chairlift of Mount Tsurugi, it took us less than 90m one way. That was in autumn. I just looked at googlemaps and I noticed that part of the route that we took is closed because its winter now. Its the bit between Nagoro Village and Oku-Iya Double Vine Bridge. The suggested alternative route loops out of iya valley, and down another road to reach mount tsurugi, which makes the drive a lot longer.

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