23.03.2017 Kotohira/Iya Valley
One of my acquaintances was kind enought to drive around Shikoku with us. First stop was Konpirasan shrine, which is close to the guesthouse I often stayed at. It’s very famous among the tourists here.
After managing to get up some stairs, Ida and I already gave up, since we had no breakfast so far. I was sure this shrine wouldn’t be that pretty that it’s worth it to use all the energy I had left. We decided to appriciate the nice view for a moment and search for a place to eat Udon. That’s what you do here: eat Udon and be happy about it. Afterwards I continued to explore something which was on my list for a while now: Kanamaruza Kabuki Theater
Because of a book and also a Manga I got kinda interested in this form of Japanese theater years ago. In 2014 I managed to see a Kabuki play at the Kabuki-za in Ginza, which was incredible and impressive, and also heared about this theater in Kotohira for the first time. Built in 1835 it’s the oldest surviving kabuki playhouse in Japan. Admission will be 500 yen, but one of the staffs will show you around explaining the most important aspects about this place. Unfortunately it’s all in Japanese, but I was able to understand roughly what he was telling us. This place is so impressive and whoever is arround: just go and visit it!
An area where it’s better to go around by car is definitely the Iya Valley, which was the main destination of this day. It’s a mountainous valley in the heart of Shikoku characterized by steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges which were traditionally crossed by vine bridges. We visited Kazurabashi, one of those brides. It will remind you a little bit about Indiana Jones, but it’s not as scary as most japanese girls in front of us said it is the whole time.
After crossing the bridge you can go left and find a nice, pretty waterfall and even walk further into nature. That day was too cold for us to go any further and we just made it to today’s Airbnb in Miyoshi.
Since our host had to work until midnight, we could just help ourselves and spent a relaxing evening under the Kotatsu inside his house. Airbnb is a great experience to have a look into daily lifes in Japan instead of isolating yourself staying at hotels or hostels.
Weather: cloudy, cold and rainy
Distance: Zentsuji over Kotohira and Iya Valley to Myoshi
Steps: 10,440 (7.41km)
Positive: A food party under a Kotatsu after exploring the beauty of Shikoku