Oboke and Koboke

Rafting in the Yoshino River

Ōboke (大歩危) and Koboke (小歩危) mean, respectively, "big steps dangerous" and "small steps dangerous" an apt description of the perils of traversing on foot through these steep gorges in Shikoku. The river views and awesome white water rafting are the big draw for here.

Get in

The Iya Valley page lists a variety of car rental options and other area access info.

By road

It is recommended to travel in this area by car. If you get there by train, you'll have a long walk along a noisy road without sidewalks to many places, but some services (accommodations, rafting) offer station pick-ups if booked ahead. It is also hard to find entry points for hiking trails without a car. Unfortunately, the nearest car rentals are located quite far away: Marugame, Takamatsu, and [[Kochi]], however there is a small car rental service in Ikeada at the main station.

National Highway 32 winds along the Yoshino River through the pristine valley of Koboke and Oboke. Coming from Osaka, Kobe or Tokushima, take the toll highway and exit at Ikeda (Ikawa-Ikeda IC). Then follow Route 192 west about 5 minutes to Route 32, then southward towards Kochi. Along Route 32 the valley gets increasingly narrow from here, first passing through Iyaguchi after about 10km (turn here at the sign for 'Deai' if accessing the Iya Gorge area of the Iya valley via 'old' Route 32). Continue another 10 kilometers to first reach Koboke and a little further along through the gorge to Oboke. Route 32 goes south to Kochi from here and the Oboke gorge continues on for a while to Iwahara in Kochi Prefecture.

A tunnel also connects Oboke to the western Iya Valley along Route 45.

From the south (Kochi area) head north on Route 32 (about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Kochi City on this road), or take the toll highway north to the Otoyo IC and head north on Route 32 from here (about 30 minutes to Oboke from Otoyo). Iwahara would be about 10 minutes closer.

By train

Both Oboke and Koboke have stations on the JR Dosan Line from Kochi to Takamatsu via Ikeda. Stops in Koboke are by local train only, though. Nearly all trains (including express) stop in Oboke. Taxi's are available from Oboke, and some places offer station pick-up if booked ahead. Iyaguchi Station to the north and Tosa-Iwawhara Station (for Iwahara in Kochi) further south are only accessible by local train.

By bus

Buses that come from Ikeda to Koboke and then Oboke (and then on to the Iya Valley) run sparsely, especially on weekdays (around 4 per day). Weekends and high season offer increased services. See the Iya Valley page for more access information.

See & Do

There's one big reason to visit: the rapids rushing through the gorge below. There are observation platforms on the highway and near the train stations if you're content to gaze from a distance, but more daring types will venture down onto the Yoshino River for a sightseeing cruise (¥2000 for a one-hour loop), and even more adventurous types yet will try their hand at white-water rafting in the class 4 rapids. The rapids are Japan's biggest and most exciting, with amazing rock formations and crystal clear waters.

Canyoning (splashing down through streams and waterfalls with rope) is also available with most rafting companies.

There are several rafting companes in the area.

If you survive the experience without developing acute hydrophobia, both Oboke and Koboke have onsen hot springs offering more bubbling water to soak in.

Buy

There are several rest areas along Route 32 between Iyaguchi to the north and the Oboke intersection to the south.

Eat & Drink

The local specialties are ayu and amego, delicious river fish salted and barbecued on a stick.

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.