|On our second day in Shikoku, we traveled into a remote part of the mountains - into the Iya Valley, a place where the Kyoto Heike clan retreated and hid in the 12th century after being defeated by the Genji clan. The terrain was extremely rugged, there was water everywhere, and the talents of the Japanese engineers were seen through our entire trip. On the expressway, the roads were straight -- we traveled through a 21 km tunnel on one of the toll roads. The bridges were spectacular. The steps taken to manage the water runoff in remote areas was innovative and unexpected. We thought that the mountainous area was very much like Switzerland, and the engineering was very similar. It was a pleasure to travel through this spectacular scenery on a paved road, with the ability to stop at flush toilets and to get a can of coffee from a vending machine. There are hot springs everywhere, and we ended up staying in one where they drilled down 1600 feet to get at the hot water.For the earlier part of our journey, where the tour buses could travel, we saw quite a few people. At the first suspension bridge, it was like 'Disneyland, with many people in line, and people of all ages fighting to get across the bridge. On the second day in Iya, we went to the paired bridges (called fu fu bridges - "husband and wife" bridges) at Hagashi-Iya, about 10 km from where we were staying, and we were the only people there.