Sightseeing in Shikoku: The Peeing Boy Statue of Iya Valley - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sightseeing in Shikoku: The Peeing Boy Statue of Iya Valley

The famous Peeing Boy Statue
Tokushima Prefecture is known for its beautiful nature, and if you'd like to explore some of the more untouched areas of Japan then a visit to this island won't let you down. One of the most popular places for tourists is the Iya valley, a place written 祖谷 in Japanese and, because of the kanji characters normally being read as So and Ya, often mistakenly gets read by outsiders as Soya. In Iya valley you can find steep mountains and deep gorges with rough nature and marvellous views ideal for anybody who likes to be surrounded by nature.

While Tokushima inhabitants are blessed with access to such picturesque landscapes the local society struggle with a steadily decreasing population. I've previously written about the Scarecrow village of Nagoro and a closed-down elementary school turned cafe for those who might be interested in other side-trips for an adventure in Tokushima. 
On the way to the statue you can take some time to enjoy a couple of famous spots among the lush green trees you'll pass on your way. We passed by a place called "ひの字渓谷" which got its name from the characteristically ひ-shaped landscape ("the ひ-shaped valley"). We stopped here to enjoy the view off the valley and the steep mountains reminded me slightly about my homeland Norway with its magnificent fjords.

Our sightseeing target was however the Peeing Boy Statue, known by locals as Shouben Kozou (しょうべんこぞう - 小便小僧). Apparently the local boys used to prove their bravery by standing at this very rock, peeing down on the valley far underneath. However, in order to put a stop to this risky tradition it was decided to have a statue made here instead. The statue was erected in 1968 and has since become a famous landmark of Tokushima that visitors come from near and far to admire.
Iya valley has few options when it comes to local transportation, with only a few busses running each day. For those who wish to visit the area I would recommend either renting a car or booking a guide who can drive you around to the places you want to visit (which we did).

 Basic Info
  • ・Place: Iya Valley - The Peeing Boy Statue
  • ・Address:Japan, 〒778-0165 Tokushima Prefecture, Miyoshi, 池田町松尾
  • ・Access: 
  • (1)50 minutes by car from Ikawa Ikeda Interchange (井川池田IC) 
  • (2) By the local Shikoku Kotsu Bus from JR Awaikeda Station (JR阿波池田駅) in direction Katsurabashi (かずら橋行乗車). Get off at Furonotani (風呂ノ谷)

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Recommended Hotels in Tokushima

Sunriver Oboke Hotel
Sunriver Oboke Hotel
Seaside Hotel Taimaru Kaigetsu
Seaside Hotel Taimaru Kaigetsu
Hotel Obokekyo Mannaka
Hotel Obokekyo Mannaka
Chiiori Lodge

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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