The Iya Valley is a remote, mountainous valley in western Tokushima Prefecture. Located deep in the heart of Shikoku Island, the secluded valley is characterized by steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges which were traditionally crossed by vine bridges. Three of the vine bridges, Iya Kazurabashi and the Oku-Iya Kazurabashi bridges, are maintained to this day and remain some of the most popular attractions of the area. Iya is also well known for its hot springs and outdoor activities.
Due to its remoteness, the valley has served as a refuge for members of the Taira Clan (also known as Heike) who escaped to the region after losing the Gempei War (1180-1185) at the end of the Heian Period. Their descendants can still be found hundreds of years later around the Iya Valley and in other remote regions of Japan such as Shirakawago, Yunishigawa, and the Noto Peninsula.