Ryugugake Park – Part 2 | Hidden Cabins Nestled within the Forest
Considered to be one of Japan’s unexplored regions, Miyoshi City of Tokushima Prefecture is certainly a place to get away from it all. Among the many hidden spots in the area is the lush Ryugugake Park of the Iya Valley, which boast a calming natural environment with a set of rental cabins where you can relax, rejuvenate, and connect with nature.
Delightful forest cabins in central Shikoku
With its easy access location in the center of the Iya Valley, Ryugugake Park is not only a nice place to stop by while traveling through the valley, but the rental cabins here make it a convenient base for exploring the area, especially if seeking an extended stay.
The cabins are called “Ryugugake Cottage” (same name in Japanese) and there are seven cabins of different sizes and design tucked within the forested park, all connected by winding footpaths.
Most people who stay here do so seeking the quiet and serene atmosphere of this natural environment, where the sounds of nature are sure to make anyone relax.
Enjoying your own secluded cottage
Each group that stays (even if you are alone) gets their own building (they are not shared dorms), and the affordable rates are based per person. (The fees are explained below.)
The cabins have different layouts, and each can hold different amounts of people (the largest can handle 7 or 8 people).
Each cabin is two floors and they are surprisingly well equip.
All have separate bedrooms with bedding futons, a living/dining room, a kitchen, and a full bathroom inside. They also have clothes washing machines and other amenities, making it great for extended stays.
There is no restaurant (or grocery store) at the park, but many people come specifically because they wish to cook their own meals. And the kitchens are nicely set up with everything necessary including pots, dishes, utensils, stove, microwave, and refrigerator.
There is also a large barbecue area here for those looking to roast up a big meal (explained in Part 3), however it should be noted that getting ingredients can be a bit limited inside the Iya Valley do to the lack of stores, so it is probably best to go shopping before you come in.
Absorbing the nature of Iya outside
Each cabin also has its own balcony, and for many people this is where they like to spend much of their time reading a book, having a drink, and taking in the natural landscape.
Actually, several of the repeat customers who come do so to simply enjoy a slow and relaxing time at the cabins more than spending all their time sightseeing in Iya.
Outside amongst the cabins, there is also a good sized flat and open area which can be utilized for events, wedding parties, and workshops.
And the administration building also has a large main room which can be also used as an event or meeting place for large groups, such as for company retreats or school functions.
In Part 3 we find out about the activities on offer at Ryugugake Park.
For Staying at Ryugugake Cottages
Open April to November (closed Dec to March)
*Direct reservations are taken by phone in Japanese only. If looking to reserve online in English, contact the Miyoshi City Tourism Department (since the location is a town park, it is owned and managed by the town government). You can contact them via email here:
Cabin rates: 4,110 yen per person per night (2,570 yen for children aged 6-15. Under age 6 free)
BBQ rates: 210 yen per person (100 yen for children aged 6-15. Under age 6 free)
(Text & Photos by: Shaun Lamzy)
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