Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I toured Hodosan in Saitama Prefecture on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. Hodozan is a low mountain with an altitude of 497m, but there are many attractions such as seasonal flowers, views of the Chichibu Mountain Range, and a small animal park. This time I would like to introduce its charm.
What is Hodosan?
Hodozan is a mountain that straddles Nagatoro Town and Minano Town, Chichibu District, Saitama Prefecture, and has been designated as one of the eight scenic spots of Nagatoro. At the foot of the mountain is Hodozan Shrine, which enshrines Nihon Takeru. Hodozan Shrine is also the 18th shrine of Chichibu’s 34 sacred sites. Hodosan has been an object of worship since ancient times, and there is a legend that Kukai trained there during the Heian period.
Hodozan is also famous for its flowers, and from late December to around June of the following year, colorful flowers such as Roubai, plum, cherry blossom, azalea, and rhododendron bloom. In particular, the wax plum garden is one of the largest in Kanto, with approximately 3,000 wax plum trees emitting their scent. In addition, from the mountaintop, you can see wonderful views of the townscape of Chichibu, the Chichibu Mountain Range, and the Asama Mountain Range. In winter, you can see a fantastic sight covered in a sea of clouds.
Route to Hodosan
This time, I toured from central Tokyo to Hodosan on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. The drive is approximately 120km and takes less than 2 hours. Below is an overview of the route.
- From Tokiwabashi, enter the Metropolitan Expressway Central Loop Line/C1 in Chiyoda Ward.
- At Takebashi JCT, use the two lanes on the right to enter the Kanetsu Expressway/Shito Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line towards Omiya.
- Take the Takashimadaira exit towards Sasame Bridge/Tanihara and enter Shin-Omiya Bypass/National Route 17.
- Turn left at Matsunokijima (intersection) and proceed toward Wako Kita IC/Kanetsu Expressway/Saitama Prefectural Route 88.
- Enter the Tokyo Gaikan Expressway/Kanetsu Expressway from the ramp on the right.
- Enter the E17/Kanetsu Expressway towards Niigata using any lane at Oizumi JCT.
- From the Hanazono IC exit, take Saikai Kaido/West Kanto Connecting Road/National Route 140 towards Chichibu.
- Proceed along National Route 140 to your destination in Nagatoro Town.
This route uses many expressways such as the Shuto Expressway and the Kanetsu Expressway, but you can drive comfortably while being careful about traffic jams and accidents. National Route 140 is also a road where you can feel the nature and history of Chichibu, and it has many curves and hills, making it a fun road for bikers. However, you also need to be careful of oncoming cars and pedestrians.
Highlights of Hodosan
A ropeway has been installed at Hodozan, and it takes about 5 minutes to get from Sanroku Station to Sancho Station. From the ropeway, you can see the plum and cherry blossoms at the foot of the mountain and the scenery of Chichibu.
A few minutes’ walk from Sancho Station will take you to the Okumiya of Hodosan Shrine. Okumiya is the place where the shrine was founded, and on May 2nd, the Okumiya Festival is held to welcome a mikoshi from Nippon Buton Shrine. From Okumiya, you can see spectacular views of the Chichibu Mountain Range and the Asama Mountain Range.
There is also Hodosan Small Animal Park near Sancho Station.
Hodosan motorcycle parking lot
Hodosan does not have a motorcycle parking lot, but there are several parking lots nearby. Here is an example.
- Hodosanroku Parking Lot: This is a parking lot adjacent to the Ropeway Sanroku Station. It can accommodate approximately 150 cars. Regular cars cost 500 yen (per day), but motorbikes can be used for free.
- Hodosan Shrine precincts parking lot: This is a parking lot located within the precincts of Hodosan Shrine. It can accommodate approximately 50 cars. Regular cars cost 300 yen (per day), but motorbikes can be used for free.
This time, I toured Hodosan in Saitama Prefecture on a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. Hodosan is a low mountain that you can easily enjoy, with many things to see such as flowers, scenery, and animals. There are also shops selling Chichibu’s special products in the surrounding area. I ate Nagatoro Line Kudari’s specialty “Iwatatami Soba” and it was very delicious. We also recommend konnyaku and miso from Nagatoro.
I think the touring to Hodosan is a perfect course for motorcyclists as it is close to the city center and has easy access to expressways and national highways. Please come and visit us at least once.