Guided Tours

Our Guided Tours include one of Iya's top English Speaking Guides who comes along with you and the driver. No doubt, these are the best way to understand and connect with the Iya Valley. These tours go beyond what any driver can do alone, with special walks through villages and out to hidden viewpoints, options for interactive experiences, and insight into the unique local lifestyle.

 

Aside from speaking English and living within the Iya Valley, our guides have also lived and worked abroad, so they understand the interests of foreign visitors and know how to best explain this remarkable place. All guides are approved by the Iya Valley Tourism Association and are sure to give you a trip you will never forget!

 

*Please Note: A minimum of one week advanced reservation is preferred for any guided tour. Please understand that there are a limited number of guides, so its best to book early. Also, in the winter (December to March), our guided tours may have limited availablity (please ask for details), however our taxi-only tours are available all year (see here).

 

**Also, we show these tours as starting/ending at JR Oboke Station, but they can start or end at any Iya Valley accommodation. Just let us know from where you want to go when you contact us.


Guided Tours

We offer both fixed route tours that go to a selection of awesome sights, as well as customized tours which allow you to make your own route. For some additional guided tours as well as customization options, please check our partner website for Iya Valley Tours.

 

1. Iya Highlights Guided Tour (half-day)

4 hours

¥29,500 (small taxi up to 3 people)

¥38,500 (jumbo taxi up to 8 people)


On this half-day tour you can see and experience a selection of the Iya Valley’s most notable sights. First you will visit some panoramic viewpoints within the undeveloped Iyakei Gorge, including Hi-no-Ji Bend and the precariously perched Peeing Boy Statue. Next, at the famed Kazurabashi Vine Bridge, test your mettle by crossing this massive back-country construction which sways above the emerald waters of the Iya River. Nearby, walk with your guide to the tranquil Biwa Waterfall and opt to taste some Iya-style snacks roasting over coals at the surrounding shops.

 

Afterwards, head deeper into the valley, taking a side trip along the cliff-faced original road of through Manpu Gorge with a stop at its fabulous wire suspension bridge, and then have in-depth walk along the ancient footpaths of the historic Ochiai mountainside village where you also get to tour the inside of a traditional thatched-roof farmhouse.

- This is a Fixed Route tour. To change the route and/or sights visited, please check the Custom Tour below.

- A lunch stop is not included on this tour, but can be included with a time extension. Please ask for details.

- Entrance fees are not included for the Kazurabashi Vine Bridges (¥550/adult, ¥350/child)

** To book this tour, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page **

2. All Iya Guided Tour

6.5 hours

¥44,800 (small taxi up to 3 people)

¥59,800 (jumbo taxi up to 8 people)


For those who want the ultimate Iya Valley tour, then this is it. On this special course one of our English speaking local guides explains every part of Iya including local life, customs, culture, and history. We will take you on special in-depth walks along the original Iya road through Manpu Gorge and its breath-taking footbridge, and upon the ancient paths of Ochiai Village where you'll also have an inside tour of a historic thatched roof farmhouse. 

 

You will also go to the insightful local History Museumthrough the hauntingly unique Scarecrow Village, out to the tranquil and stunning Double Vine Bridges, and to various viewpoints including Iyakei Gorge's famous Peeing Boy Statue and the panoramic Hi-no-Ji Bend. We will also stop for great lunch at an Iya-style restaurant, that is known for its locally grown vegetables and range of wild game dishes hunted by the owner.

 

For sure, this is a thoroughly satisfying and comprehensive tour of the Iya Valley, and you are sure to enjoy! 

- This is a Fixed Route tour. To change the route and/or sights visited, please check our Custom Tour below.

- Lunch fee is not included on this tour (about ¥800 to ¥1500 per person)

- Entrance fees are not included for the Museum and Double Vine Bridges (total is ¥960/adult, ¥450/child)

** To book this tour, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page **

3. Iya Architecture Guided Tour

6.5 hours

¥44,800 (small taxi up to 3 people)

¥59,800 (jumbo taxi up to 8 people)


On this unique tour you will visit three different centuries-old thatched-roof houses (called kayabuki) where your guide will give an inside tour of each which focuses on their construction methods, their layout design based on how they were used and lived in, and the necessary steps that have been used to restore and preserve these beautiful buildings. Each structure has its own unique characteristics, with one being the home of a simple farmer, another being that of a village chief, and the final being the splendid home of Iya's former ruling samurai (an optional fourth grand building which was also a home to the samurai's clan can also be visited with a time extension, please ask if interested when contacting).

 

This tour also includes an in-depth walking tour along ancient foot-paths through Ochiai Historic Village, which is revered for its collection of traditional homes. Additionally, you will also have lunch at a local restaurant, go to viewpoints along the original Iya road through Manpu Gorge and its breath-taking wire footbridge, visit the weird and wonderful Scarecrow Village with a chance to meet the artist, and also go out to the hidden Double Vine Bridges which are marvels of back-country engineering . 

- This is a Fixed Route tour. To change the route and/or sights visited, please check the Custom Tour below.

- Lunch fee is not included on this tour (about ¥800 to ¥1500 per person)

- Entrance fees are not included

** To book this tour, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page **

4. "Yama Yoga" + Guided Iya Tour

6.5 hours

¥44,800* (small taxi up to 3 people)

¥59,800* (jumbo taxi up to 4 people)

 *plus ¥1500 per person Activity and Lunch fee


Interested in having a yoga lesson with an awesome view from a secluded Iya kominka farmhouse? Well, one of our English speaking guides is also Iya's skilled yoga teacher, and she will take you to her exclusive "Yama Shala" yoga hideaway for a private lesson. Afterwards she'll serve a homemade macrobiotic lunch here featuring a range of seasonal Iya vegetables along with herbal tea you'll help pick fresh from the garden.

 

After eating, you'll go deeper into Iya for an in-depth walk upon the ancient paths of Ochiai Village where you'll also go into a historic thatched roof farmhouse, as well as through the famed Scarecrow Village, out to the tranquil Double Vine Bridges, and to various viewpoints including Manpu Gorge and its stunning footbridge.

- This tour has an extra Activity and Lunch fee (¥1500 per person)

- Maximum of only 4 people due to limited space at the Yama Shala

- Entrance fees are not included for the Double Vine Bridges (¥550/adult, ¥350/child)

** To book this tour, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page **

 

For more info about Iya Valley yoga, please check the Yama Yoga website.

5. Custom Guided Iya Tour

4 to 8 hours

¥31,000* (small taxi up to 3 people)

  -first 4 hours: ¥31,000

  -each additional 30 min: +¥3,700

¥40,00* (jumbo taxi up to 4 people)

  -first 4 hours: ¥40,000

  -each additional 30 min: +¥4,800


For those who would like to build their own Iya Valley tour, then we will work together with you to create a customized experience either based on any of our existing tours, or start from the ground up to make something truly unique. 

 

Utilizing on our extensive knowledge of the Iya Valley, we can build a tour to include any specific locations or activities you prefer, including things not available in our other tours. We will then arrange everything together into an optimal route based on when and where you wish to start and end the tour. The possibilities are limitless, and can include any of the special points in the Iya Valley area. 

 

We can go to the world famous Nagoro Scarecrow Village, walk through historic Ochiai Village, go out to the tranquil Double Vine Bridges, and to head various viewpoints including Iyakei Gorge's unique Peeing Boy Statue. We can also mix together elements of multiple tours, such as by adding together some of the historic houses of the Architecture Tour with the Yoga Tour.

 

Or maybe you are looking for something not available in other tours, such as a zip-line experience over the Iya River or white water rafting through Oboke Gorge? If you have something specific in mind, just ask.

- Lunch fee is not included on this tour (about ¥800 to ¥1500 per person)

- Entrance fees are not included

- Total price will be based on the length of the tour, 4 hour minimum.

** To book this tour, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page **

More Tours 

 

 

Looking for some more options such as a Mountain Hiking Tour, a Multi-Day Tour, or more details on how to customize your tour? 


Kazurabashi Taxi Company also operates Iya Valley Tours, which is Iya's only locally based guided tour provider. Here we offer even more tours and a range of options for customization. 



Contact for a Guided Tour

Please use this form for a Guided Tour only.

 

If you would like a taxi tour without a guide, please check the Taxi Touring page. and to contact regarding a taxi-only tour (no guide), please use the main contact form here. Thank you!

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.

Regarding all Guided Tours:

  • We will walk on village paths, so appropriate shoes are needed
  • In winter (Dec - March), guide availability may be limited and/or some locations may be closed for the season. Please ask for details.
  • Departure time for these full day tours must be before 11:00am
  • Entrance fees are not included (History Museum ¥410, Vine Bridges ¥550. Children discounted)
  • Lunch fees are not included unless noted
  • Must be reserved at least one week in advance
  • We have a limited number of guides, so please book early! 

**Do note that if there is road construction or bad weather happening then it may be necessary to change the order for where we stop. If there is a construction delay, there will be no extra charge if we go over time a bit due to the delay (but usually, if there is any delay, it will only be a few minutes).

 

Also, in case of rain, we may not be able to do parts of the walking tours (but we will have umbrellas). If walking is not possible, we will extend our time at other locations. 

 

And for people who are physically unable to do the walks, we will do our best to accommodate you and provide a pleasant tour!