[Scenic Touring Road] [Fukushima Prefecture] Bike trip to Bandai Azuma Skyline! A solo Harley trip along one of the best roads in Tohoku where you can enjoy nature in all four seasons.

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.

This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mt. Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture.

Mt. Bandai is a stratovolcano located in central Fukushima Prefecture, with an altitude of 1,819m.

At the foot of Mt. Bandai, there are beautiful lakes and marshes such as Lake Inawashiro and Goshikinuma, where you can enjoy nature in each season.

This time, we drove on the scenic road called “Bandai Azuma Skyline” that connects Mt. Bandai from the north side to the south side.

This road is known as one of the best touring spots in the Tohoku region, and the highlights include the route with its many elevation changes and the ever-changing scenery along the road. I would like to introduce this wonderful road to you along with my favorite Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide.


What is Bandai Azuma Skyline?


Bandai-Azuma Skyline is a toll road that stretches from Mt. Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture to Azuma-Kofuji.

The total length is 29.3km, and the highest point reaches 1,350m.

This road opened in 1965, but has been renovated and expanded many times since then.

Today, it is a smooth road with two lanes on each side, and can be enjoyed not only by motorbikes but also by cars. However, please note that the road is closed during the winter (mid-November to mid-April).

In addition, even during the opening period, if there is a risk of frozen roads, the road may be closed at night (from 5:00 PM to 7:00 AM the following day). Road traffic information can be found on the Urabandai Tourism Association website.

Route to Bandai Azuma Skyline


I started from central Tokyo.

First, take the Shuto Expressway No. 6 Mukojima Line and enter the Tohoku Expressway.

Go north on the Tohoku Expressway and branch off to the Ban’etsu Expressway at Koriyama JCT.

Get off at Inawashiro Bandai Kogen IC and enter National Route 115.

After driving on National Route 115 for a while, turn onto Prefectural Route 7.

When you enter Prefectural Route 64 from Prefectural Route 7, you will immediately see the entrance to Bandai Azuma Skyline.

This route took about 3 and a half hours, but there are rest stops and service areas along the way, so you can take a good rest while running.

Highlights of Bandai Azuma Skyline


When you drive along the Bandai Azuma Skyline, you will be overwhelmed by its charm.

From cityscapes to mountainous landscapes with lush trees, to the rugged landscape of the rocky outcrops near Jododaira, you’ll be greeted with a variety of scenery that will keep riders interested.

Jododaira in particular is also a dangerous area where sulfur is spewing out.

There is a sign on the side of the road that says, “Please do not stop because sulfur is being spewed out.”

If you’re a motorcyclist, you’ll be breathing in sulfur directly through your helmet, so it’s best not to stay too long. However, it is a thrilling route filled with extraordinary surprises.

When running on the Bandai Azuma Skyline, be sure to pay attention to the weather and temperature. Clouds and fog can reduce visibility, and low temperatures can cause roads to freeze. Also, the wind can get strong, so please drive safely and have fun.

Bandai Azuma Skyline motorcycle parking lot


There is no motorcycle parking lot at Bandai Azuma Skyline. However, there are several parking lots and observation decks along the road where you can park your bike.

However, depending on where you park, you may be charged a fee, so please check in advance. Also, avoid parking on the street. This time, I parked my bike at the Happodai trailhead parking lot located at the halfway point of Bandai Azuma Skyline. This is a free, spacious and well-maintained parking lot, as well as a rest area and restrooms. From this parking lot, you can enter the mountain trail of Mt. Bandai, and the surrounding scenery is also wonderful.


This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mt. Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture.

I took a ride on the scenic road called “Bandai Azuma Skyline” that connects the north side of Mt. Bandai to the south side.

The highlight of this road is the route with its different elevations and the ever-changing scenery along the road.

The rugged scenery of the rocky surface near Jododaira is especially impressive.

However, please be aware that in winter and at night, the road may be closed or the road may be frozen.

It is also a dangerous area where sulfur is spewing out, so please do not stop.

When driving on the Bandai Azuma Skyline, be sure to pay attention to the weather, temperature, and wind, and enjoy driving safely.

Around Mt. Bandai, there are also beautiful lakes and marshes such as Lake Inawashiro and Goshikinuma, as well as sightseeing spots such as the Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum. If the weather is good, you can also see Mt. Adachitara, one of Japan’s 100 famous mountains, and Lake Hibara, one of Japan’s three most famous lakes, from the top of Mt. Bandai.

Mt. Bandai is one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains and also one of Japan’s 100 Scenic Views.

Its beauty and majesty have captivated many people. In addition to the Bandai Azuma Skyline, Mt. Bandai also has toll roads such as the Mt. Bandai Gold Line and the Mt. Bandai Echo Line.

By riding a combination of these roads, you can enjoy the various charms of Mt. Bandai.

The area around Mt. Bandai is famous for its special products such as Inawashiro amaebi'' andInawashiro rice.”

Inawashiro amaebi are small shrimp grown in Lake Inawashiro, and are characterized by their strong sweetness and plump texture.

Inawashiro rice is Koshihikari rice grown using water from Lake Inawashiro, and is characterized by its strong stickiness and fluffy texture. These special products can be purchased at roadside stations and souvenir shops. You can also enjoy dishes and sweets made with these local products at local restaurants and cafes.

This time, after running along the Bandai Azuma Skyline, I went to a nearby walking course called the Urabandai Goshikinuma Nature Trail.

This is a group of crater lakes formed by the eruption of Mt. Bandai, and as the name suggests, you can see swamps that shine in five colors.

The walking course is about 3km and takes about 1 hour. The color of the swamp changes depending on the depth of the water, the angle of light, and the season. When I went there, it was a mixture of colors like blue, green, and brown. Trees and flowers grow around the swamp, giving it a rich natural atmosphere. There are parking lots and restrooms along the walking course, as well as space to park your bike.

This is my touring report. Touring by motorcycle from central Tokyo to Mt. Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture was quite a challenge, but it was also very moving. Bandai Azuma Skyline is a dream road for motorcyclists. Please give it a try. However, let’s enjoy and put safety first.