LET’S TAKE A ROAD TRIP IN JAPAN!
Given Japan’s size compared to other countries such as US, Canada, et cetera, you might think that there isn’t much to road trips in the Japanese archipelago. But that is too far from the truth. Japan is the home to one of the most fascinating carscapes in the planet and to the most zealous auto enthusiasts and has no shortage of rousing routes to explore. And if you think you’ve had enough road trips, wait ‘til you drive on the best driving roads of Japan.
KAWAZU-NANADARU LOOP BRIDGE, SHIZUOKA
Located at Shizuoka, one of Japan’s prefectures, the Kawazu-Nanadaru Loop Bridge is an exemplary illustration of Japanese ingenuity building two loops on a steep mountainside where a linear ramp isn’t possible. Also known as the Japanese Double loop spiral, this road measures 80 m in diameter, 1.1 km long, and bring cars up and down in a full 45 m.
NORIKUYA SKYLINE ROAD, NAGANO
At a height of 3026 m above sea level, being the highest public road in Japan, enjoy a panoramic view of the Northern Alps Mountain Range on the Norikuya Skyline Road. The road is often closed to private cars due to heavy snowfall in the higher parts of the mountains or whenever the access is not cleared of snow but open to buses and taxis that carry people to the mountain sides.
KANJO LOOP, OSAKA
A 4.77-mile long loop of connected highways running right through the Osaka city. For a regular Japanese, it’s just a normal highway. But for the “Kanjo racers” or “Kanjozoku”, an underground band of outlaws doing the illegal racing scenes, it’s a race field.
MOUNT ASO, KUMAMOTO
Mount Aso is an active volcano in the center of Kyushu that offers great views of the surrounding mountains and the little villages below it. This picturesque location makes it one of the best driving roads in Japan. A popular spot called the “Laputa Road” or “Sky Road” is one place you won’t want to miss. Its breathtaking view will make your road trip an enjoyable one.
HAKONE HILL CLIMB, KANAGAWA
The Hakone Hill Climb is surely in every racer’s bucket list. With a surface that’s better suited to a speedway rather than a normal road, it’s the place to go if you want to put your skills to the test. The road is privately owned and odds are good that traffic will be minimal giving you the free range to explore its twists and turns at your own pace.
BANDAI AZUMA ROADWAY, FUKUSHIMA
Also known as Bandai-Azuma Skyline, this roadway was created to allow visitors to enjoy the sightseeing access to the Azuma Mountain Range in the Tohoku area. For a total distance of 28.7 km, the roadway passes directly next to the crater of Mount Azuma where visitors can park their cars at the nearby visitor center and take the hike up to the crater’s rim.
MIKUNI PASS, SHIZUOKA
At 1139 m above sea level, Mikuni Pass, the highest highway in Hokkaido, overlooks a panoramic sea of trees and mountains sights. Take a serene and spirited drive along the Mikuni Pass while viewing the popular Mount Fuji. The viewing spots can be crowded but just keep driving, you will find a calm patch to take in the scenery eventually.