This community is located in the heart of the Higashi-Iya Valley; a beautiful hamlet built into the mountainside. The homes here were constructed during the middle of the Edo period (circa.1700), up until the Showa period (circa 1930). It is unknown when the first settlers arrived here, but there are many legends and folklore of the Heike clan and frontier settlers making their homes in Ochiai. Villagers live at an elevation of 390 meters on a steep hillside, and the village itself was formed by stacking stones to make walls. There is an impressive and ancient air to this mountain hamlet and a natural beauty you simply can't encounter anywhere else.
Designated in 2005 as a national preserved heritage site.
Mt. Tsurugi Sightseeing Lift
This lift makes climbing the mountain all the easier, even for beginners. Enjoy the natural scenery around you in this single-seated chairlift that is 830 m long and takes about 15 minutes. It carries you up to Nishijima Station, an altitude of 1420 m, which is halfway up Mt. Tsurugi.
Dodoro Waterfall boasts a drop of 30 m, created on the Ototani River, a tributary of the Handa River. The area around the falls was developed as a sightseeing spot in 1995, and newly opened in May 1997.
There is a parking lot, an observation point and public toilets, and two rest houses.
Light-up: 2 months from July to August, from 7pm to 9pm.
The Dodoro Falls Festival (from 1pm) is held in July every year, with goma burning and other events.
The crystalline Sadamitsu River flows through the beautiful canyon of “Dogama”. The name means “earthen pot”, and if you visit the spot yourself, you’ll soon discover why! The powerful flow of the river wore the walls of this gorge smooth and rounded some parts out, making the scenery resemble a basin. And the canyon does look like a work of pottery, made of a rare pearly schist called “Awa Aoishi” (or Awa blue stone), one of Tokushima’s many natural attractions.
This three-tiered waterfall in Tsurugi town surges down from 85 meters and is the highest waterfall in the prefecture. As Tsurugi town's most popular tourist spot, Narutaki is lovely to visit in any season. Public toilet and parking available.
Mt. Tsurugi Tourism Center
Before climbing Mt. Tsurugi, stop by for information, handy goods, and souvenirs. Also enjoy our original craft beer and coffee made from freshly ground beans with a hot sandwich (for eat-in or take-out).
Yoshinogawa Highway Oasis & Minoda no Yu
A local exchange base facility with a souvenir corner, a restaurant, a bathing facility, a teleworking office, and a café. The souvenir corner offers a wide variety of Shikoku's specialties as well as ethical products. The open-air plaza with its expansive lawn is also equipped with a colorful playground.
Honrakuji Temple: 88 Temple Pilgrimage & Matcha Experience
Honrakuji Temple, selected as one of the 88 scenic spots in Shikoku, features Japanese gardens and landscaping with the majestic Yoshino River and the Asan Mountains in the background. The mossy garden also has a tea ceremony room where you can enjoy matcha tea. A sutra copying experience is also available.
Minoda no Fuchi
Minoda no Fuchi is a scenic wedge of the Yoshinogawa River where the waters deepen and feed off the pure minerals contained in the surrounding rocky terrain. When the area is in full bloom late March ~ early April, many visitors flock to the area to walk along the river, enjoy flower-viewing picnics, or spend the night at the campground here. You’ll find people enjoying water sports here, as well, as the season warms. Minoda no Fuchi is right beside the Yoshinogawa Highway Oasis roadside station, so it’s a convenient stop to enjoy a breath of nature on a long journey.
The Statue of a Peeing Boy
As a symbol of innocent courage, a statue of a peeing boy was constructed at the edge of the nearby precipice, the most perilous spot in Iya Valley. In the old days, it's said the local children would stand on this cliff and urinate into the ravine to show their bravado.
Oboke & Koboke Gorge
A unique and beautiful gorge, where the Yoshinogawa River flows emerald through the valley. Scenic views of the gorge's crystalline schist resemble marble sculptures, and the fresh green of the surrounding forests in summer, the fiery foliage in autumn, or winter's shimmering frosts, make for a spectacular sight in any season.
Oboke Gorge Pleasure Cruise
Take a 30 minute ride along the pure green waters of the Yoshino River, enjoying nature's handiwork on both sides. Scenic views of the gorge's crystalline schist resemble marble sculptures, and the fresh green of the surrounding forests in summer, the fiery foliage in autumn, or winter's shimmering frosts, make for a spectacular sight in any season.