Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.
This time, we’ll be taking you on a Harley tour to Urayama Dam, Japan’s second largest gravity concrete dam located in Saitama Prefecture.
Urayama Dam is a beautiful dam lake surrounded by the mountains of Chichibu, and is also called Chichibu Sakura Lake.
During the fall foliage and cherry blossom seasons, the colorful flowers are reflected on the surface of the lake, making for a truly spectacular sight.
There are also many specialty products and sightseeing spots around Urayama Dam. This time, we will introduce the highlights and special products of Urayama Dam, as well as provide information on how to access it by bike and parking information.
Route to Urayama Dam
For this touring, we chose a route from central Tokyo to Urayama Dam, which is about 150 km and takes about 2 and a half hours. Enter the Kanetsu Expressway from the Shuto Expressway’s Inner Loop Line, exit at Hanazono IC, and continue along National Route 140 towards Chichibu.
Along the way, you will pass through the Chichibu city area via the West Kanto Connecting Road and National Route 299.
In the Chichibu city area, there are cultural spots such as Chichibu Shrine and the History and Folklore Museum, as well as gourmet spots such as Chichibu soba and warabi mochi, but I didn’t have time this time so I skipped them. I would definitely like to stop by next time.
As you approach Urayama Dam, you will see a sign saying “Urayama Dam” along the road.
Turn left and walk a little further until you see a huge concrete wall on your right. That is Urayama Dam. The gravity concrete dam is an impressive sight with a height of 156m and a crest length of 372m.
There is a parking lot on the left bank beyond that, but this time we will aim for the parking lot on the right bank. To do so, continue on Route 140, cross Kunabashi Bridge, and turn right. Immediately you will see the entrance to the right bank parking lot.
Highlights of Urayama Dam
After parking my bike at the right bank parking lot, I first went to the Urayama Dam Museum “Uralapia”. “Uralapia” exhibits the construction and functions of Urayama Dam, as well as the nature and history of Chichibu. You can also tour the inside of the embankment and the disaster prevention museum for free.
Inside the levee body, you can use the elevator to ascend 156 meters to the top of the levee. From the top of the embankment, you can see a panoramic view of Lake Chichibu Sakura and the surrounding mountains. At the Disaster Prevention Museum, you can learn about the role and effects of Urayama Dam, such as flood control and securing water resources. By learning about the structure and significance of Urayama Dam, my understanding and appreciation for the dam deepened.
Next, we took a walk around Urayama Dam. As the name Chichibu Sakura Lake suggests, Urayama Dam is home to cherry blossoms in full bloom in the spring. Unfortunately, it wasn’t cherry blossom season this time, but there were still beautiful greenery and flowers blooming along the lakeside. Boats and canoes were floating on the surface of the lake, and people were also seen having fun by the water. Chichibu Sakura Lake is also a mecca for smelt fishing. Many anglers visit from November to February. I didn’t go fishing this time, but I definitely want to try it next time.
Urayama Dam motorcycle parking lot
There are two parking lots at Urayama Dam: the left bank parking lot and the right bank parking lot.
Both are available for free. The left bank parking lot is located on the downstream side of the embankment body. From here, you can walk along the levee body to the top of the levee. The right bank parking lot is located on the upstream side of the embankment body.
From here, you are close to observation facilities such as Urarapia and the Disaster Prevention Museum. From the right bank parking lot, you can also access trailheads such as Mt. Wakamiko and the Hiroba Plaza. The left bank parking lot and the right bank parking lot can be accessed by walking across the crest of the embankment.
This time, I used the right bank parking lot. The right bank parking lot has spaces for 40 regular cars and 60 spaces for large cars. Motorcycles can be parked in the large vehicle space. However, please note that it may be closed during the winter. There are also toilets, but they may not be available during the winter.
This time, we brought you information about Harley touring to Urayama Dam in Saitama Prefecture.
Urayama Dam is a beautiful dam lake surrounded by nature in Chichibu, where you can enjoy seasonal scenery such as autumn leaves and cherry blossoms. There are also many specialty products and sightseeing spots around Urayama Dam.
At Urayama Dam, you can learn about the structure and role of the dam at Urarapia and the Disaster Prevention Museum, as well as take in the spectacular view from the top of the dam.
In addition, at Lake Chichibu Sakura, you can enjoy water activities such as boating and canoeing, as well as smelt fishing. Urayama Dam has a left bank parking lot and a right bank parking lot that are free to use.