Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mt. Akagi in Gunma Prefecture. Mt. Akagi is a volcano that rises to the northwest of the Kanto Plain, with an altitude of 1,828 meters. Mt. Akagi has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains, and you can enjoy the beautiful nature of each season. This time, I would like to introduce the charm of Mt. Akagi and touring routes.
What is Mt. Akagi?
Akagiyama is an active volcano located in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture. Akagi Onuma is a caldera lake formed during an eruption about 30,000 years ago, and the surrounding area is dotted with lakes and marshes of various sizes. Mt. Akagi has been a place of worship since ancient times, and is home to Akagi Shrine. Mt. Akagi is also deeply involved in Japanese history, and there is a legend that Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed at Akagi Shrine when establishing the Kamakura Shogunate. Mt. Akagi is also a popular outdoor spot for mountain climbing, hiking, and camping. Especially in autumn, when the leaves turn beautiful colors, many tourists visit.
Route to Mt. Akagi
On this tour, I used my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide to travel from central Tokyo to Mt. Akagi in about 2 and a half hours. Our starting point was Kamei Bridge in Chuo Ward, and we headed towards Ginza via Kobikicho Street. From there, I took the Shuto Expressway’s Inner Loop Line, passed through Takebashi JCT, and entered the Shuto Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line. I got off at the Takashimadaira exit, took the Shin-Omiya Bypass, and transferred to the Kanetsu Expressway at Matsunokijima. I drove about 90 kilometers on the Kanetsu Expressway, exited at Maebashi IC, and entered the Takasaki Maebashi Bypass. From there, head north on National Route 17, turn right in front of the Sumiyoshi-cho police box, and enter Kenmin Kaikan Street. I continued on Prefectural Route 4 and arrived at Mt. Akagi.
Highlights of Mt. Akagi
Mt. Akagi has a variety of attractions where you can experience nature and history. The three I visited this time are:
- Akagi Onuma: A caldera lake that can be said to be the symbol of Mt. Akagi. There are promenades and observation decks along the lake, where you can see the reflection of Mt. Akagi on the surface of the lake. The lake water is highly transparent, allowing you to observe what is happening underwater. There is also a rest house and campsite along the lake.
- Akagi Shrine: A shrine located in the southwest of Akagi Onuma. It is unknown when it was founded, but it is said to have existed since the Heian period. In addition to the main hall and worship hall where the gods of Mt. Akagi are enshrined, the precincts also include a sacred tree and sacred water where Minamoto no Yoritomo is said to have prayed. In addition, the opening festival of Mt. Akagi is held every July.
- Akagiyama Nature Park: A natural park located northeast of Akagi Onuma. You can observe nature such as alpine plants and wild birds. You can also see lava flows and lava tubes formed by the volcanic activity of Mt. Akagi in the park.
Akagiyama motorcycle parking lot
There are several places on Mount Akagi where you can park your motorcycle. Specifically, these are the “Prefectural Akagi Park Konuma Parking Lot” and the “Akagi Shrine Visitor Parking Lot.” There is a large parking lot that is free and there is also a designated area for bikes. From the parking lot, you can walk to Akagi Onuma and Akagi Shrine.
This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mt. Akagi in Gunma Prefecture. Mt. Akagi is a wonderful spot where you can enjoy beautiful nature and historic shrines. Famous local products include wasabi and maple leaves grown around Akagi Onuma. The touring route was also comfortable, and I was able to travel smoothly using the Shuto Expressway and the Kanetsu Expressway. Many motorcycle parking lots are available for free, so you can park your bike with peace of mind. I think Mt. Akagi is a place worth visiting by bike.