Oboke Area Itinerary

Itinerary Type :
Autumn Colors Viewing, Farm Stays, Historic Sites, Onsens, Scenic Drives
Number of Stops
13
Est. Drive
45 km / 28.0 miles - 1 hours and 17 minutes
Est. Site-Seeing :
Between 2 hours and 6 hours 55 minutes
 
This itinerary explores the scenic Oboke Area of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku Island, following the Yoshino and Fujikawadani Rivers. Given how much there is to see and do in Shikoku, you are encouraged to combine this itinerary with as any other "Shikoku" itineraries, and/or "Festival" itineraries, as you like and have the time for.

The itinerary is in Tokushima Prefecture, the southeastern quarter of Shikoku Island. It can take one-day so you may want to begin or end the itinerary at one of the accommodations mentioned below. Once you have selected this itinerary and saved it, you can change/customize it. If you plan to continue on, you can daisy-chain with other Shikoku itineraries.

Given the geography and more isolated nature of Shikoku Island the rental car outlets tend to be located at the airports and train stations of each of the four main cities of the four prefectures comprising Shikoku: Kochi City, Matsuyama, Takamatsu, and Tokushima City. This will result in some additional driving to get to one end or the other of this itinerary.

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are a variety of interesting and unique accommodation options in the Iya Valley area of Tokushima Prefecture where you can spend the night. One of the most unique options is to spend 1-2 nights in one of eight revitalized/updated "kominka" (old farm houses) in the traditional Ochiai Town, all part of the Tou (MapCode: 357 142 897*17; http://tougenkyo-iya.jp/stay/stay_style_en.html). Each kominka has kitchen and laundry facilities. You will need to purchase your food at stores along the way. Another excellent choice is the Iya Onsen hotel (MapCode: 357 308 132*28; https://www.iyaonsen.co.jp/en/)

You can also easily reverse the itinerary, if you wish, just by following the MapCodes in the reverse order.
 

45 km / 28.0 miles - 1 hours and 17 minutes
1. Awa-Kawaguchi Station - 阿波川口駅

Courtesy of Wikipedia
MapCode :
357 450 236*03
Description :
The Awa-Kawaguchi Station is used here only as a "way-point" for itineraries in Oboke and the Iya River Valley. There are no parking spaces or rental car facilities here.

The Awa-Kawaguchi Station (阿波川口駅, Awa-Kawaguchi-eki) is a railway station on the Dosan Line in Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture. It is operated by JR Shikoku. The station consists of two side platforms serving two tracks. A footbridge connects the two platforms. The station building has a waiting room and a ticket window. The station opened on 28 November 1935 when the then Kōchi Line was extended northwards from Toyonaga to Minawa and the line was renamed the Dosan Line. At this time the station was operated by Japanese Government Railways, later becoming Japanese National Railways (JNR). With the privatization of JNR on 1 April 1987, control of the station passed to JR Shikoku.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Address :
Yamashirocho Okawamochi, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5304
5.8 km /  3.6 miles - (8 minutes)
2. Koboke Gorge Suspension Bridge - 小歩危峡のつり橋

Courtesy of Google Maps
Courtesy of Google Maps
Courtesy of Google Maps
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 20 Minutes
MapCode :
357 361 825*63
Description :
The Koboke Gorge Suspension Bridge There is a parking area on the shoulder of the northbound lane (hill side) a little south of the bridge.
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Yamashirocho Shigezane, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5322
1.7 km /  1.1 miles - (2 minutes)
3. Koboke Gorge - Viewing Spot - 小歩危峡

Courtesy of Tokushima Prefecture
Courtesy of Google Maps
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 15 Minutes
MapCode :
357 331 310*28
Phone :
012-040-4344
Description :
The Koboke Gorge of the Yoshino River has unusual geological strata, including a rudaceous schist formation designated as a natural monument. The Yoshino River has cut through the Shikoku Mountains over the ages, eroding crystalline schist into winding gorges with myriad shapes and forms, which almost look like marble statues. With fantastic reflections of cherry blossoms in spring and full autumn color in season, the river is host to a number of boating activities, from relaxing cruise down the calm part of the river, to an exciting rafting trip down the rapids. Koboke gorge lies 3 km/2 mi downstream of Oboke and its scale is a little more modest than Oboke Gorge, but is still beautiful and fascinating because of the rare shaped rock and its sandstone beauty.

Note: There are several shoulder areas suitable for parking on the west side of Highway 32 in this area. Be careful crossing the road!
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Habiro Ikedacho Kawasaki, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5166
4.6 km /  2.9 miles - (5 minutes)
4. Oboke Gorge - Viewing Spot - 大歩危峡

Courtesy of the City of Miyoshi
Courtesy of the City of Miyoshi
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 15 Minutes
MapCode :
357 181 662*17
Phone :
088-372-3910
Description :
The Oboke Gorge of the Yoshino River has unusual geological strata, including a rudaceous schist formation designated as a natural monument. The Yoshino River has cut through the Shikoku Mountains over the ages, eroding crystalline schist into winding gorges with myriad shapes and forms, which almost look like marble statues. With fantastic reflections of cherry blossoms in spring and full autumn color in season, the river is host to a number of boating activities, from relaxing cruise down the calm part of the river, to an exciting rafting trip down the rapids. Koboke Gorge lies 3 km/2 mi downstream (north) of Oboke and its scale is a little more modest than Oboke, but is still beautiful and fascinating because of the rare shaped rock and its sandstone beauty.

Note: There are several shoulder areas suitable for parking on the west side of Highway 32 in this area. Be careful crossing the road!

If you have more time, the Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Boat (MapCode: 357 151 736*77) travels down and then back the Yoshino River in about 30 minutes, offering the passengers scenic vistas of the grandeur of nature's handiwork as they glide through the ravine. Crystalline schist resembling marble sculptures rises above the boat on both sides, giving tourists an awesome sight. You will enjoy the changing season through fresh green in summer, coloured leaves in autumn and even snow in winter (https://www.mannaka.co.jp/restaurant/excursionship/excursionship.html).
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Yamashirocho Shigezane, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5322
1.0 km /  0.6 miles - (1 minutes)
5. Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Boat - 大歩危峡観光遊覧船

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Has Food Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
Min/Max Time :
45 / 60 Minutes
MapCode :
357 151 736*77
Phone :
088-384-1211
Description :
The Oboke Gorge Sightseeing Boat travels down and then back up the Yoshino River in about 30 minutes, offering the passengers scenic vistas of the grandeur of nature's handiwork as they glide through the Oboke Gorge. Crystalline schist resembling marble sculptures rises above the boat on both sides, giving tourists an awesome sight. You will enjoy the changing season through fresh green in summer, colored leaves in autumn and even snow in winter.
Hours :
Open daily 09:00 – 15:30
Address :
1520 National Route 32, Yamashirochō Nishiu, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5451
0.6 km /  0.4 miles - (1 minutes)
6. Yokai (Hobgoblin) Road

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of City of Miyoshi
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
15 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
357 151 420*06
Description :
The Yokai (Hobgoblin) Road is a section, about 1.6 km/1 mi long, of Highway #272 along the north side of the Fujikawadani River. It starts a little west of Highway #32, where the Fujikawadani flows into the Yoshino River. This mountainous area of Yamashiro Town is famous for its secluded nature and mysterious history linked up with the Heike Clan samurai, many of whom, after losing the Genpei War (1180-1185) were forced into hiding in this rugged area to avoid being hunted down and killed. Possibly related to this history, the area is also famous for it's Yokai (Hobgoblin) legends which are fairly unique in the country. It is said that the hobgoblins or peculiar phenomenon were sometimes said to be a reminder to people to be diligent in general lives and also to respect nature and the environment. These legends together with effort of local people trying to energize the community through a unique and fun theme was recognized and acknowledged as “Yokai Heritage” by the World Yokai Society on May 25, 2008. This is the Society's second acknowledgement in its history after Sakaiminato City in Tottori Prefecture. These Yokai are manifested in as many as 100 carved statues along the road and the nearby Yoshino Village. Every autumn there is a Yohai Festival held in Yoshino Village.

Note: If you need more interaction with Yokai you can also visit the Yokai House and Geology Museum a little further south on Highway #32 in the Oboke Michi-no-Eki road station.
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Yamashiro-cho Nishiu, Miyoshi City, Tokushima 779-5451
1.5 km /  0.9 miles - (2 minutes)
7. Fuji-no-Sato Park - Yokai (Hobgoblin) Road - Fujinosato Park

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of City of Miyoshi
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Has Parking Has Toilet
Min/Max Time :
5 / 20 Minutes
MapCode :
207 179 249*82
Description :
The represents the western end of the Yokai (Hobgoblin) Road with its approximately 60 carved statues of Yokai of various kinds. It is about 1.6 km/1 mi from the starting point at the eastern end of Highway #272 along the north side of the Fujikawadani River.

This mountainous area of Yamashiro Town is famous for its secluded nature and mysterious history linked up with the Heike Clan samurai, many of whom, after losing the Genpei War (1180-1185) were forced into hiding in this rugged area to avoid being hunted down and killed. Possibly related to this history, the area is also famous for it's Yokai (Hobgoblin) legends which are fairly unique in the country. It is said that the hobgoblins or peculiar phenomenon were sometimes said to be a reminder to people to be diligent in general lives and also to respect nature and the environment. These legends together with effort of local people trying to energize the community through a unique and fun theme was recognized and acknowledged as “Yokai Heritage” by the World Yokai Society on May 25, 2008. This is the Society's second acknowledgement in its history after Sakaiminato City in Tottori Prefecture. These Yokai are manifested in as many as 60 carved statues along this and nearby sections of the road.

Note: If you need more interaction with Yokai you can also visit the Yokai House and Geology Museum a little further south on Highway #32 in the Oboke Michi-no-Eki road station.
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Yamashirocho Kamimyo, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5452
2.1 km /  1.3 miles - (3 minutes)
8. Yokai (Hobgoblin) House & Geology Museum - 妖怪屋敷

Courtesy of Oboke Michi-no-Eki
Courtesy of Oboke Michi-no-Eki
Courtesy of Oboke Michi-no-Eki
Courtesy of Oboke Michi-no-Eki
Min/Max Time :
10 / 30 Minutes
MapCode :
357 151 345*77
Phone :
088-384-1489
Description :
The Yokai (Hobgoblin) House & Geology Museum is located in the Oboke Michi-no-Eki on Highway #32. This mountainous area of Yamashiro Town is famous for its secluded nature and mysterious history linked up with the Heike Clan samurai, many of whom, after losing the Genpei War (1180-1185) were forced into hiding in this rugged area to avoid being hunted down and killed. Possibly related to this history, the area is also famous for it's Yokai (Hobgoblin) legends which are fairly unique in the country. It is said that the hobgoblins or peculiar phenomenon were sometimes said to be a reminder to people to be diligent in general lives and also to respect nature and the environment. These legends together with effort of local people trying to energize the community through a unique and fun theme was recognized and acknowledged as “Yokai Heritage” by the World Yokai Society on May 25, 2008. This is the Society's second acknowledgement in its history after Sakaiminato City in Tottori Prefecture. In addition to interacting with Yokai you can also learn about the geology of the area.

Note: The Yokai are also manifested in as many as 60 carved statues along a nearby section of Highway #272 called the Yokai (Hobgoblin) Road (MapCode: 357 151 420*06).
Hours :
Open daily 09:00 - 17:00
Address :
1553-1, Yamashirocho Kamimyo, Miyoshi, Tokushima, 779-5452
4.6 km /  2.9 miles - (7 minutes)
9. Heike Yashiki Museum of Folklore - 平家屋敷民俗資料館

Courtesy of City of Miyoshi
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Min/Max Time :
10 / 45 Minutes
MapCode :
357 154 512*22
Description :
The Heike Yashiki Museum of Folklore exhibits materials and relics of Heike Clan. This has been a residence of the descendant of Horikawa Naiki, who was a private doctor to the young Emperor Antoku. He has entered into this remote mountain with the remaining members of Heike Clan after they lost the Genpei War (1180-1185). He served as a doctor as well as an oracle in the Iya region, where medicinal herbs were plentiful. In its garden stands an 800 years old tree and in the museum building, the inside of which remains as it did in the Edo period (1603-1868), are exhibits of armor, flags, ancient documents, and other materials.
Hours :
Open daily 08:00 – 17:00
Address :
46 Nishiiyayamamura Nishioka, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0105
4.4 km /  2.8 miles - (7 minutes)
10. Iya Fureai Park - 祖谷ふれあい公園

Courtesy of City of Miyoshi
Courtesy of Forest Adventure
Courtesy of Forest Adventure
Has Food Has Parking Has Shopping Has Toilet Has Vending Machine(s)
Min/Max Time :
10 / 90 Minutes
MapCode :
357 188 480*14
Phone :
088-376-8585
Description :
The Iya Fureai Park has several parts. In addition to a wooden playground area and a waterfront promenade, it has a "ladybug mono-rider" (a small monorail system), and a camping site. It also has the "Iya Roman Bridge", a walking bridge that offers spectacular views of the valley.

The final part is the “Forest Adventure Iya Valley”, consisting of 5 "Adventure Course" zip-lines, opened in 2017. One zip-line exceeds 360 m/1181 ft in length (https://fa-iya.foret-aventure.jp/eng/).
Hours :
Open daily 09:00 – 17:00
Address :
379 Nishiiyayamamura Oinouchi, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0101
6.0 km /  3.7 miles - (13 minutes)
11. Statue of a Peeing Boy - 祖谷渓の小便小僧像

Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Courtesy of Walter L. Keats
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 15 Minutes
MapCode :
357 308 376*22
Phone :
012-040-4344
Description :
The Statue of a Peeing Boy is located in an area with a of dizzying succession of sheer cliffs lining the steep gorge carved out of the mountains by the Iya River. This majestic and beautiful valley stretches out for 20 km/12 mi and cliffs at the height of several dozen to hundreds of meters will be covered by fresh vegetation in spring and beautiful foliage in autumn. When looking down at the winding emerald green river from the cliff top, you may feel dizzy as it looks far below, but offers you the beautiful view of river curves along its rim. As a symbol of innocent courage, a statue of a peeing boy stands at the edge of a 200 m/656 ft precipice, which is noted as the most dangerous spot in the Iya River Valley. In the old days, local children and travelers stood up here and urinated to show their bravado.
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Matsuo Ikeda-cho, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0165
3.6 km /  2.2 miles - (9 minutes)
12. Iya River Bend Observation Point - イヤ川ベンド観測点

Courtesy of the City of Miyoshi
Has Parking
Min/Max Time :
5 / 15 Minutes
MapCode :
357 171 382*22
Description :
The Iya River Bend Observation Point is marked by a sign indicating the location and providing a little background information about the Iya River. "The Iya River runs out of Mt. Tsurugi, forming a deep valley among the Shikoku Mountains and creates a majestic and beautiful valley for 20 km/12.5 mi. Cliffs at the height of several dozen to hundreds of meters will be covered by fresh vegetation in spring and beautiful foliage in autumn. This spot offers the un-obstructed view of the Iya River winding through the valley in a "V" shape which looks like a Japanese letter "Hi", so it is sometimes called "Hi-no-Ji Valley affectionately."
Hours :
Open daily 24/7
Address :
Iya Valley, Miyoshi, Tokushima
9.1 km /  5.7 miles - (18 minutes)
13. Iyaguchi Station - 祖谷口駅

Courtesy of Google Maps - tadashi kawata
Courtesy of Google Maps - tadashi kawata
Has Parking Has Toilet
MapCode :
357 483 299*58
Description :
The Iyaguchi Station is used here only as a "way-point" for itineraries in Oboke and the Iya River Valley. There is limited parking but no rental car facilities here.

The Iyaguchi Station (祖谷口駅, Iyaguchi-eki) is a railway station on the Dosan Line in Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture. It is operated by JR Shikoku. The station, which is un-staffed, consists of a side platform serving a single track on a hillside. A flight of steps leads up to the platform from the access road. There is no station building but a log-style building at the base of the steps serves as a waiting room. A shelter is provided on the platform. The station opened on 28 November 1935 when the then Kōchi Line was extended northwards from Toyonaga to Minawa and the line was renamed the Dosan Line. At this time the station was operated by Japanese Government Railways, later becoming Japanese National Railways (JNR). With the privatization of JNR on 1 April 1987, control of the station passed to JR Shikoku.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Address :
Yamashirocho Shimokawa, Miyoshi, Tokushima 779-5303

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