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Oboke Gorge (大歩危, Ōboke) and neighboring Koboke Gorge (小歩危) a little ways downstream, are narrow, steep-sided gorges near the entrance to the Iya Valley and popularly combined with a visit there. Cut by the swirling rapids of the Yoshino River, their names mean "big dangerous steps" and "small dangerous steps" as their jagged, rocky walls can be perilous to navigate.

The gorges are one of the leading outdoor destinations in Japan, rivaling Minakami in Gunma Prefecture, and are known for their beautiful natural scenery and for the variety of outdoor activities available, such as whitewater rafting and canyoning.

Oboke Sightseeing Boat Cruise

Departures from 9:00 to 15:30
Closed: during very bad weather and high water levels
Admission: 1500 yen

Lapis Oboke

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: Tuesdays from Dec to Feb (or next day if Tue is a national holiday)
Admission: 600 yen (both museums)

River Rafting

Hours: 8:00 to 18:00
Season: March to November
Admission: Half day tours start from around 6000 yen

Getting there and around

The hourly limited express trains between Okayama and Kochi stop at Oboke Station along the way. Alternatively, Oboke can be reached from Awa-Ikeda Station by train (30 minutes, 460 yen by infrequent local train or 790 yen for an unreserved seats on an hourly limited express train) or bus (40 minutes, 670 yen, every 2-3 hours).

How to get to and around the Iya Valley

Hotels around Iya Valley

    • Hotel Iya Onsen
      An onsen ryokan commanding Iya Valley. Enjoy new bath with amazing view and riverside bath 170m down by cable car. Free shuttle to/from JR Oboke Sta. Wi-Fi available.
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