In the Edo Period, building a bridge or crossing by boat over the Oi River was strictly prohibited for political reasons. The first bridge built over this river was Horai Bridge, constructed in 1879 and still in use. The bridge is registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest wooden walking bridge, with a length of 897 meters. A toll of 100 yen for using the bridge is charged.
The area on the west side of the Oi River is one of the most famous Japanese tea production areas. Beautiful tea fields spread forth on the gentle slopes of the mountains. The Tea Museum called Ochanosato Museum in the Kanaya Area serves 90 kinds of tea from 30 countries all over the world, as well as the local fukamushi sencha, deep steamed green tea. Have a cup of tea and learn about the culture and history of tea. The Japanese garden and tearoom recreate the style of Kobori Enshu, who is known as a master of the Enshu school of the tea ceremony as well as an artist and lord during the 16th-17th century. Try-it-yourself lessons for making matcha (finely-milled green tea) and picking tea leaves are offered on the premises.
The Oigawa Railway Line, extending from JR Kanaya Station to Senzu Station, is famous for its steam locomotive trains. Enjoy the sound of the steam whistle echoing in the mountains on the SL train running among the spreading tea fields and the Oi River. Limited express trains, which used to run on private railways in the Kansai Area, are also running on this line in their original colors.
There are facilities where you can enjoy making matcha and experiencing a tea ceremony, as well as hot springs. Kawane Onsen Fureai no Izumi is a hot spring facility housing 11 baths for men and women into which fresh water is constantly supplied. This onsen is famous for having an open-air bath from which you can see SL trains running. At adjoining cottages, dining and lodging are available.