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Pass Spots in Japan

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nidoage Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Prefecture Takasaki City
    This is a pass on the border of Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture and Naganohara Town, Agatsuma County, opened with an altitude of about 1,380 meters and rich in nature. It is recommended for those visiting Asama-Otaki Falls and Asama Ranch as there is a car park for climbers. The view of Mt. Asama from Nidoage Pass is spectacular, especially during autumn when you can enjoy the scenery of the changing colors of the leaves. The beautiful scenery makes it a popular course for those driving or motorbike riding to Kita-Karuizawa.
  • Jukkoku Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Prefecture Tano-gun Uenomura
    This mountain pass is 1,351 meters in height and is located between Ueno Village, Tano County in Gunma Prefecture and Sakuho Town, Minamisaku County in Nagano Prefecture. This name of the pass originates from a long time ago when 1,500 kilograms (Jikkoku) of rice had to be carried every day from the Shinshu region to the west of Joshu region where rice could not be harvested. In addition to rice, miso paste and soy sauce from the Shinshu region and coal from the Shinshu region was transported. The folk song, “Jikkoku-Mago-Uta”, sung by the horsemen is passed down to this day. At the Jikkoku Pass, there are car parks, toilets, and a tower observatory with a magnificent view, that can be entered freely. Please be aware that the mountain pass is closed during winter.
  • Unzen Nita Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Unzenshi Obamachounzen 551
    "This pass is located at the center of the Shimabara Peninsula. A ropeway station near the parking lot of the Daiichi Lookout connects to the summit of Mt. Myokendake. You can get a great view of the broadleaf forest covering Mt. Fugendake, and when conditions are right between autumn and winter, you can see the Ariake Sea and Amakusa Islands poking through a sea of clouds. The seasonal views are splendid. In spring a variety of azaleas come into bloom, and in fall the maples and other trees so beautifully color the mountain that the area has been designated a National Natural Monument. In winter you might see the fantastic spectacle of hoarfrost covering the landscape known as ""hanaboro."" "
  • 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.
  • Shirabiso Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Idashi Kamimura
    At an elevation of 1,833 meters, Shirabiso Pass is known as the mountain gateway to the Southern Alps (Akaishi Mountains). It’s a popular tourist spot with magnificent views overlooking the Southern Alps, Northern Alps and Central Alps. From spring to early summer the fresh leaves create a picture of green, and in the autumn the changing colors of the leaves of the maple and white birch trees are simply divine. Please note that the pass is closed during the winter (late November to early April).
  • Otome Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Shizuoka prefecture Gotemba city/Kanagawa prefecture Ashigarashimo gun Hakone cho
    Renown for the exquisite views of Mt. Fuji, this pass is located on the peaks surrounding Hakone, in Hakone Town, Ashigarashimo County, Kanagawa. Many visitors hike from Otome Pass to Mt. Kintoki to enjoy the 360 degree panoramic views along the way. There is an Otome Bell at the Otome Tunnel near the hiking path, which couples often ring while making a romantic wish.
  • 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.
  • Nagao Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Kanagawa prefecture Ashigarashimo-gun Hakone cho, Shizuoka prefecture Gotemba city
    At 911 meters high, the Nagao pass lies between Hakone Town, Ashigarashimo County and Gotenba City, Shizuoka. Veering off from the Shizuoka side of the tunnel, the Hakone Skyline drive continues across the surrounding peaks. In addition to the view of Mt. Fuji, in the autumn one can enjoy the view of pampas grass undulating like waves. There is a parking area at the entrance to the skyline, from where one can take hiking trails to the surrounding peaks.
  • 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.
  • Fujimi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Pref. Kitagunmagunshintoumura Uenohara
    This pass at the foot of Mt. Haruna in Shinto Village, Kita Gunma County, Gunma Prefecture hosts one of Kanto’s best view points. There’s a small parking lot at the pass offering an unbroken view of the townscape stretching from Maebashi City to Shibukawa City. Especially known for its beautiful night view, the sight of the countless lights sparkling below like jewels is breathtaking. You can see it all from your car, making it a popular dating spot.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shioritoge Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi
    This mountain pass is along National Route 352 in Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture. At its highest point you'll find the start of the trailhead to climb Mt Echigo-Komagatake, one of Japan's 100 most famous mountains. Every October the Uonuma City Tourist Association offers a shuttle bus called Unkai and Takigumo, a prime spot for photography. Also, from mid-October to early-November take time to enjoy the various autumn colors painting the scenery as you travel along this beautiful mountain pass. The pass is open to traffic from mid-June through early-November. During the winter the pass is closed due to snow and you will be unable to use it to access Fukushima.
  • Mikuni-toge Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Yuzawa Town, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata Prefecture
    The pass is 30-minutes by car from the Yuzawa Interchange. The pass connects Yuwaza Town, Minamiuonuma County, Niigata and Minakami Town, Tone County, Gunma Prefecture as was once a vital point along the ancient Mikuni-Kaido Road between the provinces of Echigo and Joshu. In the pass three deities, the Mikuni Gongen, have been enshrined, Ueno Akagi, Shinano Suwa, and Echigo Yahiko, and there is also a stone monument bearing the names of famous personalities who have passed through. There are numerous hiking courses along the old Mikuni-Kaido Road branching out from Mikuni-toge drawing plenty of hikers who enjoy walking along through historical landmarks and alpine scenery.
  • Abo Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Takayama-city, Gifu Prefecture
    A pass located between Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture and Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. Situated 1,800 meters above sea level, the pass is a stunning place from which to view sweeping scenery of the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps). A parking area is located at the end of the pass’s climb, and the view from here is spectacular. Visitors driving along the pass can enjoy the beautiful forms of Mt. Yakedake and Mt. Hotakadake, selected as two of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains, and take pictures of mountains some 3,000 meters high. Currently the Abo-Toge Road is the primary pass route, but an older road is also style used by many for touring. Note that the pass is closed to traffic in winter from mid-November to May.
  • Amou Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu prefecture Hida city
    A pass connecting Hida City and Shirakawa Village in Gifu Prefecture which has been designated Amou Prefectural Natural Park. The pass was also designated a Gifu Brand New Treasure in 2011. Overflowing with virgin beech forest and alpine plants, visitors can find Asian skunk cabbage growing in the areas high moors. Seasonal flowering plants delight the eye until around mid-September, while from early October onward visitors can enjoy the changing colors of beech and maple trees. A mountain climbing route start at the pass’ parking area leads to the Amou Marsh and up Mt. Mominuka. Note that the pass is usually closed to through traffic in winter.
  • Kanmuriyama Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Gifu prefecture Ii-gun Ibigawa-cho
    A pass located on the border between Gifu Prefecture and Fukui Prefecture on the Mt. Kanmuriyama Line forest road. Situated 1,050 meters above sea level, vehicle traffic is allowed on the pass road. There is a parking area long the pass and many mountain climbers start their ascent of Mt. Kanmuri from here. There is also a stone monument along the pass inscribed with the pass’ name in Japanese which commemorates the opening of the road, as well as a stone monument marking the border between Fukui and Gifu. As the pass becomes dangerous under snowfall, traffic along the pass is closed in winter. Currently, a tunnel is being constructed directly under the pass.
  • 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.

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