Update: I now live in Japan so please go to my home page to read more up to date info about Japan and my rides on some of these roads!
The Japanese BikeJin magazine held a survey of it’s readers to rate their best roads. Scenery as well as road surface/curves were considered so the final ranking reflects the voters opinions on that.
I managed to get a copy of the April issue that had this article and will give a bit more info here with some notes on the scans mainly on some of the roads that are within riding distance from Tokyo.
13. (tie) Zaou Ecoline. This drive winds across Mt. Zao range from the East to the West, and connects Miyagi prefecture and Yamagata prefecture. The drive is closed from the beginning of November to the end of April of the following year for the winter but is bursting with colours of red in autumn.
13. (tie) Mikata Goko Rainbow Line. This scenic mountain road lies in the Fukui Prefecture which is positioned at the southwest part of Hokuriku District.
13. (tie) Tatsudomari Line
13. (tie) Hachimantai Aspite Line
12. Choukai Blue Line is in the Yamagata prefecture and is a fair ride from Tokyo. The Chokai Blue Line rises from sea level to 1150 metres, offering spectacular view of Mount Chokai and the Sea of Japan.
11. Tsunoshima Big Bridge
10. Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
9. Aso Panorama Line – have been up by car – would be great riding, its in Kyushu though. Lots of corners and spectacular views as well as another active volcano to visit at the top, conditions being suitable.
8. Kouya Ryuujin Skyline. The Ryujin-Koya Skyline as also referred to is route 371 that links Koyasan and the Kumano area and is a mountain road famous for beautiful autumn coloured leaves as well as being a popular road for motorcycles.
8. (tie) Shimanami-kaido.
6. Shiretoko Oudan Road.
5. Izu Skyline – many say this is in fact the best motorcycle ride in Japan. I will ride it next time I am there. There are so many mountain roads in Japan but this road is said to be designed as if by a rider such is the surveying. Being close to Tokyo means this probably got more votes simply as more people would know it than any other road so I will decide for myself once I ride it.
4. Shiga Kusatsu Road - I have ridden this mountain (active volcano) also on my last ride and it was fantastic! You can find this road easy by looking on Google maps for the route 292 situated east of Nagano.
3. Yamanami Highway.
2. Venus Line - I rode this last time, my header photo was taken on the upper section of this road where it is numbered route 199. The lower section is route 40 however the road flows in two directions the best section of the road runs north from the junction with 199 however the road back to Suwa is also good. Idea ride is from Suwa ride up 40 then up 199 to the top and back down then onwards north on the rest of route 40 which is superb all the way to Tateshina.
1. Bandai Azuma Skyline
Not been there but its definitely somewhere I want to go given its number one rank. Mt Bandai is situated north of Tokyo in Fukushima prefecture a fair ride away which puts it at odds with also riding Izu and Fuji on my next trip but will see what I can map out.
Read about my riding in Japan here
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