One of the hidden gems in Japan is the Vine Bridge located at Iya Valley, Miyoshi, Japan. It is said that these bridges were constructed during the Gempei War (1180-1185) but legends say that they were either first raised by Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism. However, it is unsure when and how the bridges were constructed.
The Vine Bridge or Iya Kazurabashi is one of the 3 currently surviving bridges of the 13 bridges which were said to be constructed. And it is one of the largest bridges that were constructed across Iya River and it stretches around 45m in length and it is constructed at a height of 14m from the ground.
The Vine Bridge is renovated every three years with a strong cable that is hidden within the vines and they are anchored to the cedar trees. This is to provide safety to its tourists. The Bridges can be crossed in 1 direction only.
However, with the sturdy structure of the bridge, it is scary to walk as you see the water body down at 45ft below and one bridge crosser says “You never think a vine bridge is scary until you walk on one and s**t a brick.”
Iza Kazurabashi has well connected by roadways where there is bus service from Awa Ikeda and Oboke stations. The entry to the bridge costs 550Yen and it can be crossed only 1 way. The hours of operation are from Sunrise to Sunset and special illuminations are held from 19:00-21:30 at night.