Pass Spots in Japan

  • Shibu Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanouchi cho, Shimokitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The Shibu Pass, spanning between Nagano and Gunma Prefectures boasts a stone marker indicating the highest peak over which a national highway travels; National Route 292 running between Mt. Yokote and Mt. Shirane. The view from the peak can take your breath away. It overlooks the extensive Yoshigadaira Marshlands in which the luscious green of the trees and the wetlands intermingle. At dawn, the sea of clouds, softly glowing from the rays of the sun is a glorious sight to see.
  • Kenashi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Takayama village in Kamikitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    "A pass situated along Prefectural Route 112 in Takayama Village, Kamitakai County. The pass is also the starting points of routes leading up Mt. Hafu and Mt. Omeshi. ""Kenashi"" literally means ""no hair,"" and as its name implies, no tall trees grow in the area; however, lingonberries, black crowberries, and other short evergreen shrubs do grow in abundance here, adding large splashes of green color to the scenery."
  • Kuragari Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nara Prefecture Ikoma-shi, Osaka-fu Higashi Osaka-shi
    This mountain pass, a Nara Prefecture Landscape Heritage, has long been known as the road taken from Osaka to Nara or to Ise Grand Shrine by people on pilgrimages. The path is lined with stone monuments and still has its original cobbled road surface. It is also famous for the poetry written by Matsuo Basho while he walked there. The name Kuragari (darkness) comes from how dimly lit the path is even during the day due to the shade of thick tree coverage.
  • Odarumi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Minamisaku-gun Kawakami village/Yamanashi prefecture Yamanashi shi
    A pass on the border between Kawakami Village, Minamisaku County, Nagano Prefecture and Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture. 2,365 meters above sea level, the pass is the highest hill climbing course in Japan which allows vehicle traffic. The pass is closed to all traffic in winter from December to May.
  • Shomaru Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Hanno city, Saitama Prefecture
    This 636-meter mountain pass is crossed by the former National Route 299 connecting Saitama Prefecture's Hanno City and Yokoze-machi in Chichibu County. The view from the top takes in the mountains of the Oku Chichibu area. There is a tea house and a restaurant where you can dine on their Genghis Khan, a local specialty of mutton and vegetables. There is lots to see during the travel season, such as cherry blossoms in spring and colorful autumn leaves. The nearby hiking trails are also highly popular. The pass is also sacred ground for fans of a famous road racing manga. The road is narrow and rough in areas with lots of tight curves. However the scenery is nice so it makes a great drive.
  • Usui Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Pref. Annakashi Matsuidamachisakamoto
    The Usui Pass, on the border of Gunma and Nagano prefectures, at elevation 960 meters, was considered an essential pass connecting Kanto area with the Shinano and Hokuriku areas. At its peak, on the border, are located the Kumanokoutai-jinja Shrine and Miharashidai lookout known as an excellent Sunset Point. In recent years, it has become popular as a tourist area with the Usui Pass Railway Culture Park, the Abt Walking Path, the Lake Usui, and the Megane Bridge across the Usui River, all nearby.
  • Mugikusa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Minamisaku-gun Sakuho-cho
    A pass situated along the Merchen Highway in a national forest in Yakori, Sakuho Town, Minamisaku County. Located between Mt. Maru and Mt. Chausu. Shirakoma Pond, Japan's largest natural lake above 2,100 meters above sea level, is located nearby. Note that the pass is closed to traffic in winter.
  • Mikuni Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanakako village Minamitsuru gun Yamanashi prefecture
    This mountain passes straddling the three prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Yamanashi features views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka below near the bottom of the pass. The panoramic observatory located halfway up the pass is famous as a spot for catching a Diamond Fuji on film. These attractions have made it a popular place for a drive.
  • Daibosatsu Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Koshu city, Yamanashi prefecture
    This mountain pass up Mt. Daibosatsurei, counted among one of Japan's 100 best mountains, is located at an altitude of around 1,900 meters. Said to be the toughest part of the old Ome Kaido Road, the pass became a household name as the setting of a Kaizan Nakazato's novel. The ridge of Mt. Daibosatsurei offers views of Mt. Fuji, the Southern Alps, and the Yatsugatake Mountains. It also features a rich variety of alpine plans, making it a popular place for hiking.
  • Konsei Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Prefecture Tone County Katashina village
    This mountain pass is 2,024 meters high, and is located at the border of Katashina Village, Tone County and Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. The pass is surround by high mountains such as Mt. Shirane and Mt. Nantai and it is said that the pass was opened by Mt. Nikko monks as a path for mountain training. The Konsei Shrine, which worships a phallic image, is enshrined on the pass. It is also a part of “Japan Romantic Road” and visitors can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves of the maples on Mt. Konsei. The best time for viewing the autumn leaves is from the end of October to the middle of November. However, it is closed from the end of December to the middle of April due to snow.
  • Oze Hatomachi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Pref. Tonegunkatashinamura Tokura
    This pass is at the entrance of Ozegahara in Katashina Village, Tone County. There are regulations now on private car use in the area so must be entered by bus or taxi from the car park. At the Hatomachi Pass free rest station, visitors can enjoy buckwheat noodles made with locally grown mountain vegetables and mushrooms and other specialties such as sweet sugared beans and bean flower soft cream, corn and sweet Japanese cakes, hiking goods and souvenirs. Private room as well as large room accommodation is also available at Hatomachi mountain cottage.
  • Yanagisawa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Koshu city, Yamanashi prefecture
    This mountain pass located at an altitude of 1,472 meters is popular for its amazing views. The pass, the highest on National Route 144, is a great place from which to take pictures of the beautiful Mt. Fuji or the Mountains of Okutama. The nearby Yanagisawa Pass Tea House is famous for serving tea made with the area's great water and its views of Mt. Fuji.
  • Ashigara Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa Prefecture Minamiashigara City, Shizuoka Prefecture Sunto-gun Oyama Town
    This pass is near the prefectural border of Minami Ashigara City and Oyama Town, Sunto County, Shizuoka. Nearby is the Ashigara Castle ruin, the site of Ashikaga Takauji army's headquarters for the Takenoshita Battle, and one can get a splendid view of Mt. Fuji. Here, there are year-round hikers enjoying the Ashigara Pass and Mt. Kintoki hiking courses. The view from the pass is one of Kanagawa's top 50 Scenic Sights.
  • Satta Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Shizuoka Pref. Shizuokashi Shimizu-ku Yui Nishikurasawa
    This mountain pass in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City is located in foothills that jut out into Suruga Bay. It connects Yui-shuku and Okitsu-shuku, the 16th and 17th stations of the 53 stations of the Tokaido Road. The Tokaido Main Line, National Route 1, and the Tomei Expressway overlap at the base of the pass with Mt. Fuji in the background, making the pass a popular spot for taking pictures. Although steep and narrow, there is a promenade lined with mandarin orange orchards that connects Okitsu Station and Yui Station.
  • Bihoro Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Abashirigumbihorochou Furume
    Bihoro Pass is located on National Highway 243, on the boundary between Teshikaga and Bihoro, at an elevation of 525 meters above sea level. From the Pass, Lake Kussharo and Nakajima Island, which appears to float in the middle of the Lake, can be seen down below, and there are also impressive views of the nearby mountains, including Mt. Mashu (Mt. Kamui) and Mt. Shari. The famous 1953 movie “Kimi no Na Wa” (“What is Your Name?”) used the Pass for location shooting.
  • Ogawara Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Saku, Nagano Prefecture
    A pass located in Kasuga, Saku City. The pass can be accessed from the Tateshina Skyline and the Karasawa Forest Road. Situated 2,093 meters above sea level, the highest point in Saku City, the pass is also the starting point of one of the trails leading up Mt. Tateshina. Depending on the time of day, visitors can get a commanding view of the Saku Plain nightscape, star-filled sky, and beautiful sunrise scenery.
  • Shiretoko Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Menashigunrausuchou
    Situated on the ridge line of the Shiretoko Mountain Range, Shiretoko Pass is the highest point on the Shiretoko Highway that links Utoro on National Highway 334 with the town of Rausu. With an elevation of 738 meters above sea level, the Pass offers marvelous views of pristine forests of Mongolian Oak trees directly below, Mt. Rausu to the north, and Kunashir Island to the east. One special feature of Shiretoko Pass is that patches of white snow can be seen even in late July. In winter, the Highway is closed to traffic, so please check before your trip.
  • Bungui Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shimoinagunoshikamura Kashio
    "A pass situated along the Akiha Kaido road in Haseichinose, Ina City. Located directly over the Median Tectonic Line, a large fault zone, the area is said to be a strong mystical ""power spot"" with a zero magnetic field. On weekends and holidays, the area sees many visitors, and accordingly traffic is restricted on nearby roads, requiring visitors to make use of a shuttlebus to reach it."
  • Makinoto Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Kusugunkokonoemachi Yutsubo
    This ridge lies at an altitude of 1,333 meters, located on the highest point of the Yamanami highway. A starting point for trails up Mt. Kuju and Mt. Kuroiwa, there is also a convenient parking area, shop and restroom. In early summer, the pink blooms of rhododendron kiusianum are truly beautiful.
  • Nomugi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Matsumoto-shi, Nagano Prefecture
    A pass located in a nature park established by Gifu Prefecture on the border between Gifu Prefecture and Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has a walking course and is a popular destination for walking and hiking. Each year in May, the Nomugi Pass Festival is held during which there is a parade of women wearing the clothes of mountain villagers hired in factories during Japan's modernization period, a mochi rice cake pounding competition, and stalls selling local specialty products, and many locals and tourists turn out of the event.

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