Oboke Gorge to Miyoshi through Iya Valley – Friday 26 April

Lovely to wake up with the hills in close view, a blue sky with a small amount of clouds, no fog … perfect. The sun gave a sparkle on the river below and iridescence to the foliage on the hills.

A few kms then onto Route 45 and 5km of switchbacks. The climb took just under 1 hour, most about 7% however I did see 11%. Just a steady grind and we were soon entering a 967m tunnel that took us through a hill. From there it was smooth sailing down the other side. We were able to enjoy the views as we wove gently towards the Iya River, from there we headed south for a few kms to see the Iya-no-Kazura Bashi – a suspension bridge made of vine.

Back on track; the Iya Valley extends along the old route 35 road for 20km. We were way high in the mountains with the river quite minuscule deep in the valley – we follow the road that weaves along the side of the mountains and are hidden by the thick forest. We get glimpses of the river as the road nears the edge. It is very silent, only the sound of birds and the trickling of water as it seeps from the ground above and finds its long way down to the river. There is the occasional small waterfall, however it would be a sight in the wet season.

We see very few cars – it is Friday and not a school/work route – very peaceful. The only movement on the bikes is applying the brakes around the corners and effortless pedaling as we gradually descend. The river is closer and opens up as we exit the valley, a little township with quaint housing.

John yawns … I follow … that was just too relaxing.

Back on route 32 and we are alert – trucks and cars to contend with and I have to concentrate on Garmin for directions as we reach our accommodation at Miyoshi, an attractive little town nestled in the hills.

Komoot was my hero today … the planned 1010m climbing today actually resulted in 640m – I guess the tunnel was not factored in. All in all a lovely day on the bike and the climb was not too bad.

Only in Japan … Accommodation

In the background, John is busy arranging accommodation that has been fantastic to now … Golden Week is something that I can’t quite grasp … I had been warned but this is ridiculous … prices are so inflated and everything is booked out …


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