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Togenkyo-Iya Mountain Village – Expo 2025: Live to Travel, Travel to Live

Togenkyo-Iya Mountain Village

Thatched old houses in Iya

The mountainous region of Iya in Tokushima Prefecture is known as one of Japan's Three Most Secluded Areas. Within this treasured valley, the picturesque village of Ochiai is acclaimed for its scenic beauty and designated as a Preservation District for Groups of Important Historic Buildings. Here, guests can lodge in renovated thatched-roof houses and enjoy stays encircled by mountains. The village also has guided tours, led by local residents, that allow guests to explore the village's history while following ancient stone walls and village paths dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868).

Local insights

Shota Koda handles general management tasks related to lodging and has worked in the field for nine years.

Togenkyo-Iya mountain village / Thatched old houses in Iya and Expo 2025

One of the charms of secluded areas is their coexistence with nature, and this experience in Iya will provide you an opportunity to better understand the importance of mountain environmental conservation and the preservation of traditional houses, which connect to the Expo theme, "Saving Lives."

Q1: How does this attraction bring tourists and locals together?

A: In Iya, we emphasize the importance of travelers experiencing the region's history while engaging in interactions with local residents. Typically, these exchanges occur during local people's daily lives. For instance, a visitor may converse with a local farmer during a walk or chat with a worker who is cleaning accommodations. We also provide maps for exploring the area with English information to enhance communication with foreign travelers.

Q2: What kind of impressions have you got from visitors?

A: Some visitors who had conversations with local farmers during their walks have sent us letters and photos. It was heartening to hear that visitors could deepen their connection with our community. We have also received feedback from visitors that they were able to casually interact with locals, such as those cleaning the accommodations, in their daily lives.

Q3: Any message for visitors planning to see Expo 2025?

A: Japan boasts numerous captivating regions, and among them, Iya stands out as an alluring and hidden paradise. We invite you to immerse yourself in the nature and culture of Iya and experience the daily life of this secluded haven.

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