[Japan’s 50 Famous Roads] [Tochigi Prefecture] Bike trip to the Momiji Line! A solo trip with winding roads and nature

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I toured by motorcycle from central Tokyo to the Momiji Line in Tochigi Prefecture. The Momiji Line is a 28km long tourist road that connects Kinugawa Onsen and Shiobara Onsen, and as the name suggests, it is famous for its autumn leaves. However, it is not only the autumn leaves that make this trail attractive, but also the fresh greenery, the coolness of the summer, and the snowy scenery of the winter. This time, I took a ride on my favorite Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide.


What is Momiji Line?


The Momiji Line is a nickname for Tochigi Prefectural Route 19 (Fujiwara-Shiobara Line), which was once called the Nichio Toll Road. Since it became free in December 2020, it has become even easier to run. This is a highland road with an altitude of over 1000m, and along the way there are natural sightseeing spots such as Taikodoshi Falls and Shirataki Falls. From the observation deck of Fujimidai, you can see Kirifuri Plateau and even Mt. Fuji on clear days. The autumn leaves begin to change color in early October, and the best time to see them is around late October. Maples, maples, and beech trees turn bright red and yellow.

Route to Momiji Line

It takes about two and a half hours from central Tokyo to the Momiji Line via Shuto Expressway 6 and the Tohoku Expressway. On Shuto Expressway Route 6, transfer from the Mukojima Line to the Kawaguchi Line and enter the Tohoku Expressway. On the Tohoku Expressway, exit at Nishinasuno-Shiobara IC and take National Route 400. On National Route 400, turn left at the Fukuwatari intersection and turn left at the Momiji Line entrance intersection onto Prefectural Route 19. On Prefectural Route 19, you will enter the Miji Line after passing through Yumoto Shiobara.

Highlights of the Momiji Line


On the Momiji Line, the slope increases as you run from the south to the north. The area to the south is a series of small corners. Although the view is not great as it is a forest route, it is a pleasant route that runs through the trees. From the Fujimidai parking lot along the way, you can climb up to the observation deck and enjoy the scenery.

In the middle area, the slope is almost flat. There are some long straight lines, but there are branch roads and ski resorts (Edelweiss Ski Resort and Hunter Mountain Shiobara Ski Resort), so it’s best to drift along. The view will be better. During the fall foliage season, the mountains to the left are truly beautiful.

In the northern area, the slope becomes steeper. Straight lines and hairpins appear alternately. Although the road appears to be wider, please be careful when passing. When you exit the Shiobara side toll gate, you will enter Shiobara Onsen Village. There is a smell of sulfur. At Shiobara Onsenkyo, you can enjoy hot springs and meals.

Momiji Line motorcycle parking lot


On the Momiji Line, you can use parking lots at tourist spots such as Fujimidai Parking Lot and Shirataki Parking Lot. However, be aware that it can get crowded during the fall foliage season. In Shiobara Onsenkyo, you can also use the parking lots of hot spring facilities and restaurants. However, please be sure to check the usage conditions and fees as they vary depending on the facility.


This time, I toured by motorcycle from central Tokyo to the Momiji Line in Tochigi Prefecture. The Maple Line is a road that is attractive not only for its autumn leaves, but also for its fresh greenery, coolness in summer, and snowy scenery in winter. It’s a great touring course where you can enjoy the corners, enjoy the scenery, and enjoy hot springs and food. When you ride a Harley, you can feel the wind and feel like you are one with nature. Please try running it once.