Saturday, September 3, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Oboke JR Station 大歩危駅, Michi no eki Oboke 道の駅大歩危

Oboke JR Station (D27), on the Dosan line. This unmanned train station is the gateway to several places of interest in Miyoshi-shi (三好市) such as Iya Onsen, Kazurabashi and Oboke/Koboke gorge. A prelude of Oboke gorge can also be experienced from a pathway located on the opposite side of the train station.

A glimpse of Oboke gorge at the train station.
Apart from local trains, the following limited express trains serve Oboke Station.
(1) Limited Express Shimanto, which commutes between Takamatsu and Kochi, Nakamura and Sukumo.
(2) Limited Express Nanpu, which commutes between Okayama, Kochi and Nakamura.


What's nearby? 

(1) Bus stop, located just outside the train station. 
There are two buses heading for Kazurabashi (かずら橋) from Oboke Station:
- Shikoku Kotsu Bus (四国交通バス), Iya line (祖谷線)
Bus schedule:
* Note that additional buses are operated only on weekends & public holidays between Apr and Nov.
- Miyoshi-shien Bus 三好市営バス, Kazurabashi/Oboke line (かずら橋・大歩危線)
Bus schedule:

(2) Michi no eki Oboke 道の駅大歩危; Yokai House and Stone Museum 妖怪屋敷と石の博物館, about 20 mins walk from Oboke JR Station.
This is more than a conventional roadside station. Located just alongside Oboke gorge, this roadside station houses a tourist information center, a souvenir shop, a cafeteria offering Iya Soba (a specialty here) on their menu, a footbath to soak your legs in and an observatory to capture the beautiful scenery of the gorge. On top of the exhaustive list of facilities mentioned, the same building also contains a Yokai House and a stone museum. Oboke and Koboke are both located in Yamashiro-cho, and it is in this quaint (and mysterious) mountainous region where numerous folktales on yokai/spiritual creatures originated from. In fact, Konakijijii (こなきじじい), a yokai featured in "Gegege no Kitaro" manga series created by Mizuki Shigeru, was inspired by here. There are about 70 sculptures/figurines of yokai on display here in Yokai House and they are all handmade by the locals, to preserve and pass down this unique heritage for future generations to appreciate. On the other hand, the stone museum features precious stones consolidated from all over the world and detailed account on how Oboke gorge is formed. Though I did drop by Michi no eki Oboke with Oboke Iya sightseeing tour bus, I spent all my time at the observatory admiring Oboke gorge which was surrounded by autumn foliage.

Michi no eki Oboke 道の駅大歩危
〒779-5452 徳島県三好市山城町上名1553-1
- Yokai House and Stone Museum 妖怪屋敷と石の博物館
Opening hrs: 0900 - 1640 hrs
Admission fee: 500 yen


Video: Scroll to 2:28 for Go Go Japan's feature on Yokai House.


Commemorative stamp: 

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