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Irohazaka is a pair of winding roads that connects the lower and higher elevations of Nikko in Tochigi prefecture. The road for downward traffic was built in 1954 and has 28 hairpin turns. On your way down, you will witness a beautiful view of two waterfalls. The road for upward traffic was built in 1965 and has 20 hairpin turns. The upward road leads to Akechidara Plateau, where you can get a beautiful view of the winding Irohazaka roads from the observation deck. Visitors can go up to the observation deck via a ropeway from the parking lot.
The name "Irohazaka" comes from two words: "iroha" and "zaka". "Iroha" are the first three syllables of the old Japanese alphabet (48 letters), originating during the Heian period, and "zaka" means slope. The total of the two slopes; the first Irohazaka for downhill and the second Irohazaka for uphill, has 48 sharp curves, so this name is likened to "Iroha 48 characters". You can find the signs such as "i", "ro", "ha" displayed for each curves.
The roads itself also has significant history - it was part of the pilgrimage for Buddhist pilgrims on their way to Lake Chuzenji.
Today, Irohazaka is a popular destination spot within Tochigi and for those visiting Nikko. The view from and of the roads are especially beautiful during the autumn when the warm colors fill the mountain. This was one of the first toll roads of Japan, but has since become toll free.
Akechidaira is almost up the second Irohazaka. The Akechidaira Observatory deck at an altitude of 1373m, which arrives in 3 minutes on a ropeway from the Akechidaira Station, is a popular observation spot that represents Nikko. You can get a panoramic view of Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Falls that flow down from Lake Chuzenji, and you can enjoy a magnificent view along with the magnificent surrounding mountains.
It is also known as a famous spot for autumn leaves, and you can enjoy the splendid beauty of nature in each season.
Known for its beautiful fuji or wisteria flowers and multiple colors' wisteria flowers
One of the largest waterfalls in Japan, measuring about 96.3m in height
Dragon Head Waterfall best known for the beautiful autumn leaves and scenery
Known for an extraordinary depth, the deepest point measuring 161.5m
Japan's tallest waterfall with single uninterrupted drop
Gorgeous autumn leaves and mild weather make autumn a great time to visit Japan.
Architectural Museum of Miniature Famous Buildings
Valley popular for its Beautiful Autumn Colors in Japan