Rustic Relaxation Awaits You in Tokushima's Iya Valley
Bring the whole family to spend the night in old-fashioned comfort
Deep in the mountains of rural Tokushima you’ll find Chiiori, a 300-year-old restored farmhouse. Its thatched-roof design was once ubiquitous throughout Japan, though now it is a rare find indeed. The moment you slide open the front doors you'll feel transported back in time. From the open hearths to the high rafters, everything about Chiiori just screams "rustic."
Luckily not everything about this farmhouse is old-fashioned. It's been outfitted with air conditioning--a must in the muggy Japanese summers--a modern bathroom with a gorgeous cypress tub, and a fully-equipped kitchen where you can cook with your friends and family after a long day of travel. The place comfortably sleeps up to seven. Make sure you stock up on food, drinks, and gasoline before coming; the Iya Valley is pretty remote, and most shops keep irregular hours.
Those with rental cars can also explore the winding mountain roads of the untouched Oku Iya ("Inner Iya") area, home to ancient vine bridges and the sacred Mount Tsurugi. Those without a car can take a bus to the Iya Valley from Awa Ikeda Station or Oboke Station, but be sure to check the schedule before you go.