Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from Tokyo to Asawatabara Plateau in Chiba Prefecture, and I would like to introduce you to the experience. Asawatahara Plateau is famous as one of the best hydrangea viewing spots in the Kanto region, with a spectacular view of about 20,000 hydrangeas covering the mountain slopes. I set out on my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide, entered the Metropolitan Expressway No. 9 Fukagawa Line from Suitengu Street, Sumida River Ohashi Bridge, and Fukuzumi, and exited at the Kisarazu Higashi IC via the Metropolitan Expressway Wangan Route and Tokyo Bay Aqua Line. Ta. From there, I took National Route 410 and National Route 465 to Asawatahara Plateau. The entire trip was about 140km and took about 2 and a half hours.
What is Asawatahara Plateau?
Asawatahara Plateau is a plateau with an altitude of 340m located in Otaki Town, Isumi District, Chiba Prefecture. This place is known as the place where Nichiren Shonin first chanted the title
Namu-myoho-renge-kyo'' in 1253. Currently, there is a temple called Myohoshoji, and within its precincts there is a hydrangea garden called Tenhaien. It began in 1951 when the chief priest at the time revived an abandoned temple and planted hydrangeas. Currently, there are about 20,000 hydrangeas grown with care by the chief priest. The type of hydrangea is a Japanese species calledhon hydrangea”, and although it only changes from white to blue, the scenery with its simple colors spreading throughout the plateau is beautiful and majestic. Due to the temperature difference, hydrangeas bloom much later than in flatlands, and the best time to see them is from early to late July. This area has also been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of Japan’s top 100 soundscapes that should be preserved, and you can hear the resounding calls of the lesser cicadas.
Route to Asawatahara Plateau
I started from central Tokyo. I ran along Suitengu Street and crossed the Sumida River Ohashi Bridge. Along the Sumida River, you can enjoy views of cherry blossom trees and the Sky Tree. From Fukuzumi, I took Shuto Expressway Route 9 Fukagawa Line. Metropolitan Expressway No. 9 Fukagawa Line is a road that runs along the Edogawa River, and you can see the coastline such as Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba on the right. You can see the view of skyscrapers such as Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower on your left. I entered the Shuto Expressway Wangan Route from the Fukagawa Line of Shuto Expressway No. 9. The Shuto Expressway Bay Shore Route is a road that goes around Tokyo Bay, and you can see the movement of aircraft and ships at Haneda Airport and Kawasaki Port on your right. On your left, you can see views of modern buildings such as Tokyo Gate Bridge and Tokyo Teleport Town. I entered the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line from the Shuto Expressway Wangan Line. The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line is a road that crosses Tokyo Bay, and is divided into an offshore section and an undersea section. The bridge is about 10km above the sea, and you can see distant views of Mt. Fuji and the Boso Peninsula on your right. You can see the horizon of Tokyo Bay and the Miura Peninsula on your left. The undersea tunnel is approximately 10km long, making it the longest undersea tunnel in the world. There is a parking area called Umihotaru in the middle of the tunnel, and from there you can use the undersea observation tower and restaurant. From the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, I entered the Chiba Section/Metropolitan Area Chuo Expressway. The Chiba Section/Metropolitan Area Chuo Expressway is a road that runs north-south within Chiba Prefecture, and you can see Kisarazu Port and Kimitsu City on the right. On your left, you can see natural scenery such as Mt. Nokogiri and Cape Futtsu. Get off at Kisarazu Higashi IC from Chiba Section/Metropolitan Area Chuo Expressway. From there, I took National Route 410 and National Route 465 to Asawatahara Plateau. National Route 410 is an expressway called Kururi-Makuta Bypass, and you can see historical scenery such as Kururi Castle Ruins and Kururi City on the right. To your left you can see scenic views of the countryside and mountains. National Route 465 is a mountain road heading towards the Kamogawa River, and on your right you can see waterfront and temples such as Lake Kameyama and Mitsuishiyama Kannonji Temple. On your left, you can see valleys and forests such as Yoro Valley and Seichoji Temple.
Highlights of Asawatahara Plateau
We arrived at Asawatahara Plateau. I walked from the parking lot to Myohoshoji Temple. Myohosho-ji is a temple of the Nichiren sect, and is said to be the place where Nichiren Shonin first chanted daimoku. There is a gate called Rokusomon in the precincts, and beyond that is a hydrangea garden called Tenbaien. Approximately 20,000 hydrangeas cover the entire slope of Tenhaien, and the flower color changing from white to blue looks beautiful. If you walk through the hydrangeas to the observation deck, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view. In addition to hydrangeas, Asawatahara Plateau blooms in all seasons, including cherry blossoms and rape blossoms in the spring, and autumn leaves and cosmos in the fall. There are also other attractions near Asawatahara Plateau, such as Otaki Stone Buddha, Japan’s oldest stone Buddha, and Nanatsu Falls, Japan’s largest waterfall. Asawatahara Plateau is a place rich in nature, and it feels great to visit by bike.
Motorcycle parking lot at Asawatahara Highlands
There is a parking lot at Asawathara Kogen, but we will use the free parking lot about 2.3 km away.
Please note that the nearby parking lot is for cars only.
This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from Tokyo to Asawatabara Plateau in Chiba Prefecture. Asawatahara Plateau is a famous place for hydrangeas, with approximately 20,000 hydrangeas blooming all over the mountain. The blooming period of hydrangeas is from early to late July, and if you visit during that time, you can see a spectacular view. There is a parking lot exclusively for motorcycles at Asawathara Kogen, which you can use for free. Asawatahara Plateau is a place rich in nature, and it feels great to ride a bike. We recommend touring by motorcycle from Tokyo to Asawatahara Plateau in Chiba Prefecture.