Kazura Bashi (Vine Bridge)


Replaced every four years. Replica of a bridge in the Iya region of Tokushima Prefecture.

A bridge crossing to a hidden land where the legend of the fallen Heike clan lives on. 

The legendary Kazura Bashi bridges of wood and vines cross a valley in the deep, wild mountains of Tokushima Prefecture. Expert artisans recreated one here with painstaking care. The original Kazura Bashi in Iya, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, is replaced every three years. Legend says that soldiers of the Heike clan, having lost the battle of Yashima in 1185, hid in these lands, and designed vine bridges for easy cutting in case enemies came hunting them. The replica at Shikoku Mura is made using 3.5 tons of kazura, or “hardy kiwi” vine, and the bridge’s quivering motion when you try to walk inspired noted Japanologist Donald Keene to compare it to setting foot into a world far removed from daily life.