Deep in the Iya Valley, the husband and wife vine bridges are a chance to see the feats of ingenuity up close without the crowds of the main bridge.
A couple of hours on the bus from the main Kazurabashi, these bridges are shorter but somehow more impressive – possibly thanks to their proximity, but also the quieter, closed-off feel of the surrounding valley. Slightly longer, the Otto no Hashi (husband bridge) is 44m long, while the lower Tsuma no Hashi (wife bridge) is 22m long. Using vine bridges that could easily be cut down once crossed, the Heike clan used the valleys deep forests to flee after losing a battle, and only three remain today. These are all reinforced with steel however, so they’re perfectly safe – although it can still be a bit nerve-wracking to step over the gaps and watch the water rushing below. Be sure to try the monkey bridge – you can pull yourself across the river using your own strength (or that of passersby, if it turns out you don’t have that much yourself).
The bridges have a ¥550 entry fee which goes towards maintenance and are open from 8am – 5pm (April – June, Oct – Nov) and then from 7.30am – 6pm (July to Sept).