In the valley of Iya
After my brief stop in Okayama, I followed my road until Iya valley, on Shikoku, spending two nights at a mountain hotel. I voluntarily chose a remote and little frequented area in order to recharge my batteries, far from the hordes of tourists.
As always, the quality of the bath was one of my main criteria when I chose the hotel and this one didn't disappoint...it is accessed via a small cable car:
The view and atmosphere up there definitely lived up to my expectations...simply amazing...
The dining room, another delight, with a delicious and superbly presented Japanese meal! By the way, note the painting on the back wall.
It represents Kazura bashi, the local attraction, a vine suspension bridge ("bashi" is in fact a phonetic alteration of "hashi", which means "bridge") that I crossed the next morning. I must say that I wasn't particularly impressed when I got there. The bridge has some charm (I can't say the same about the surroundings though, especially the nearby parking lot), but I just didn't realize what made the place so specific:
But I understood as soon as I started to cross: note the significant spacing between the logs! Even though falling is more than unlikely, people who are afraid of heights will appreciate having to constantly watch down to see where they put their feet, especially when the wood gets slightly slippery because of the rain...