Saturday, September 3, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Manikin Piss Boy & Iya Valley 小便小僧,祖谷溪

Visited 18.11.2014 (Tue)

Gorgeous natural landscape.
Well secluded. Till now, Iya valley is one of the most remote and inaccessible area I have ever visited in Japan. Alongside Gifu Prefecture's Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and Miyazaki Prefecuture's Shiiba-son (椎葉村), Iya valley is chosen as one of the three most well-secluded places in Japan. During the train journey from Tokushima city to Awa Ikeda JR Station (to board the Oboke Iya Regular Sightseeing Tour Bus), I was already fascinated by the breathtaking mountainous landscape view through the train windows. Was even more excited to embark on the day trip to explore Iya valley. And because we visited Shikoku during the autumn season, the surroundings were decorated and enhanced by memerising autumn foliage.

Manikin Piss Boy - a iconic symbol of Iya valley.
Nature's wonders. Due to the mountainous terrain here, the roads can be rather narrow and winding - so please be careful if you do plan to self drive. The first destination which the bonnet bus brought us to was the best viewing spot for Iya valley. At an elevation of 200 m, a panoramic view of the meandering river of Iya running through the mountains can be captured clearly from here. Stood at the same spot for quite some time as I could not take my eyes off this stunning backdrop. This is undoubtedly a true display of nature's wonders.

Act of courage? Situated at the edge of a cliff is a manikin of a boy pissing. A symbol of Iya valley, it is said that in the past, children stood up at this most dangerous spot of Iya valley and urinated from here as a display of their courage. Even if it is allowed now, I don't think I will be that daring enough to try that!

Backdrop decorated by autumn colours.

Posta Collect's depict of Iya Valley and Manikin Piss Boy. 

Manikin Piss Boy & Iya Valley 小便小僧,祖谷溪

How to get there?

(1) Local buses
From Awa Ikeda JR Station:
- Board Shikoku Kotsu Bus (四国交通バス), Iya line (祖谷線) heading towards Kazurabashi (かずら橋). Alight at Furo no tani (風呂ノ谷).
Bus schedule:

(2) Oboke Iya Regular Sightseeing Tour Bus 大歩危・祖谷定期観光バス
Price = 7,500 yen (adults); 7,000 yen (child)
Period of operation: Daily in May, August, October and November; Weekends and public holidays in March, April, June, July and September.
Itinerary: Awa Ikeda JR Station > Iya Valley and statue of pissing boy > Lunch > Kazurabashi > Heike Yashiki Museum of Folklore > Michi no eki Oboke > Oboke sightseeing boat cruise > Awa Ikeda JR Station

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