Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, we will introduce touring to Kannagawa River, which is said to be the clearest stream in Kanto. I set out from central Tokyo on a Harley Sports Glide (FLSB) and drove about 200km. The Kannagawa River is a first-class river in the Tone River system located on the border between Gunma and Saitama prefectures, and is full of beautiful nature and historical sites. This time, we will introduce some of the most recommended spots and information.
What is Kannagawa?
The Kannagawa River originates at the northern foot of Mt. Mikuni where Nagano, Gunma, and Saitama prefectures border, flows north, then turns east and joins the Tone River. The total length is approximately 87 km, and the basin area is approximately 407 square km. The name Kannagawa River comes from the fact that the river of gods (kam) was changed to the name of a god. In ancient times, it was also called the Camino River.
The Kannagawa River has extremely clean water and is home to an abundance of fish such as sweetfish and char. In addition, beautiful scenery such as cherry blossoms and autumn leaves spreads along the coast. At Kannagawa River, you can enjoy outdoor leisure activities such as river swimming and camping in the summer, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
Route to Kannagawa River
I toured by motorcycle from central Tokyo to Kannagawa. The route looks like this:
- From central Tokyo to Saitama Prefecture using the Metropolitan Expressway
- In Saitama Prefecture, head north on National Route 17 to Takasaki City.
- In Takasaki City, head west on National Route 462 to Fujioka City.
- In Fujioka City, head north on National Route 299 to Ueno Village, Tano District.
- At Ueno Village, head west on Gunma Prefectural Highway/Nagano Prefectural Highway 124 Ueno Koumi Line to Kannacho.
In Kanna-cho, head south on National Route 299 and run along the Kanna-gawa River.
This route allows you to cover a distance of approximately 200 km in approximately 4 hours. There are also rest spots such as service areas and convenience stores along the way. However, please be aware that in winter it may be difficult to pass due to snow or ice.
Highlights of Kannagawa River
Along the Kannagawa River, there are various attractions such as nature, history, and culture. There are three spots I particularly recommend:
- Ueno Dam: A dam located upstream of the Kanna River dedicated to power generation. The dam lake is called Okukinryu Lake, and you can see mountains such as Mt. Mikuni and Mt. Asama from the water surface. At the dam lake, you can enjoy water leisure activities such as boating and canoeing. The dam site also has an observation deck, campground, and hot spring facilities.
- Sanbaseki Gorge: A valley located in the middle reaches of the Kanna River. Along with the Sanbagawa River, which joins the Kannagawa River, it is known as a production area for the beautiful green stone called Sanbagishi. Sanbasite has been used for ornaments such as magatama and swords since ancient times. At Sanbaseki Gorge, you can enjoy mountain stream fishing and hiking.
- Battle of Kannagawa: A battle during the Sengoku period that took place at Kannagawa in 1582. This battle, fought between Kazumasu Takigawa and Ujinao Hojo, was the beginning of the conflict over the Kanto region after the fall of the Takeda clan. Along the Kannagawa River, where the battlefield was, there are monuments and historical sites that tell us what it was like back then.
Kannagawa Motorcycle Parking Lot
There are several places along the Kannagawa River where you can park your motorcycle. The motorcycle parking lot I used is the one introduced below.
Ueno Dam Parking Lot: This is a parking lot for visitors to Ueno Dam, where both motorbikes and cars can be parked for free. There is ample parking space, but the parking space for cars and motorcycles is shared, so it is best to park in the corner of the parking lot.
This time, we introduced touring to Kannagawa River, which is said to be the clearest stream in Kanto. Kannagawa River is full of beautiful nature and historical sites, and it’s also fun to ride a bike. I set out on my favorite Harley Sports Glide (FLSB), but I think you can enjoy the experience in a different way with a super sports or naked bike as well. Please try a motorcycle trip to Kannagawa River, depending on the climate and season.