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How to travel to the Iya Valley

By train

The Iya Valley can be accessed via Awa-Ikeda and Oboke Stations along the train line between Okayama and Kochi. Hourly JR Nampu limited express trains travel directly from Okayama (1.5 hours, about 4000 yen one way, how to get to Okayama) and Kochi (1 hour, about 3000 yen one way). Alternatively, Awa-Ikeda is connected by JR limited express trains to Takamatsu (1 hour, about 3000 yen one way, one transfer required) and Tokushima (75 minutes, about 3000 yen one way, one train every 2 hours).

By highway bus

Several bus companies run multiple direct highway buses per day between Osaka (Shin Osaka and Hankyu Umeda stations) and Awa-Ikeda Bus Terminal. The trip takes about four hours and costs 4750 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 8600 yen and must be used within ten days. Online reservations can be made via Japan Bus Online.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.

Orientation

The Iya River flows from Mount Tsurugi down the Iya Valley until it joins the Yoshino River around Iya-Guchi Station. The valley is commonly divided into two areas, Nishi Iya (West Iya) and Oku Iya (Inner Iya, also known as Higashi Iya or East Iya). Nishi Iya is relatively well connected by buses from Awa-Ikeda and Oboke Stations, as well as by a major bypass road from Oboke. Oku Iya, on the other hand, is difficult to explore by public transportation as bus service is very infrequent or non-existent.

Accordingly, a rental car is recommend for exploring the Iya Valley. Rental car outlets are available around Awa Ikeda Station, Oboke, Takamatsu Airport and Tokushima Airport. Just be aware that the roads are very narrow, often barely wide enough for one car, and there are frequent blind curves that make driving both hazardous and slow.

Buses operate from Awa-Ikeda and Oboke Stations to the Iya Kazurabashi (some via Iya Onsen) and Kubo. At Kubo you can transfer to another bus further into the valley. Bus service as far as Mount Tsurugi is only provided on weekends and during peak seasons outside of winter.

Hotels around Iya Valley