Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Jomine Pass in Saitama Prefecture. Jomine Pass is a mountain pass located in the Soto-Chichibu Mountains of Oku-Musashi at an altitude of 617 meters, and is located at the junction of Prefectural Route 11 and Oku-Musashi Green Line, which connects Chichibu City and Higashi-Chichibu Village. In this article, we will introduce what Jomine Pass is, what route we took to get there, what kind of highlights there are, and where the bike parking lot is.
What is Jomine Pass?
Jomine Pass has been an important transportation route connecting Chichibu and Ogawa since ancient times. In the Meiji period, the railway was opened and this road went into decline, but in the 1930s, local volunteers campaigned for it to be reopened, and it was completed in 1955. A monument is erected at the pass to honor his achievements.
Jomine Pass is also a popular base for mountain climbing and hiking. You can access many mountains such as Hiki Sanzan such as Mt. Ogiri and Mt. Dodaira, and Sotochichibu Seven Peaks such as Kengamine and Maruyama. It is also famous as the setting for the anime “Initial D,” and is popular among runners and bikers.
At Jomine Pass, there is a famous restaurant called
Jomine Pass Oni Udon.'' Here, you can enjoy handmade udon that takes over four hours to prepare each morning. The bukkake-style udon is served with spicy Kinpira burdock root and seasonal condiments, and is chewy and filling. There is also a specialty product calledJoho Manju.” This is a manju made of white bean paste called shiraishian wrapped in flour, and has a light and refreshing taste.
Route to Jomine Pass
I set out on my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide. It is about 100 km from central Tokyo to Jomine Pass, but there are expressways and bypasses along the way, so you can get there in about 2 hours.
First, I headed north on the Shuto Expressway’s Inner Loop Line. From Takebashi JCT, I entered the Shuto Expressway No. 5 Ikebukuro Line. This section is expensive, but I used it to avoid traffic jams. I went down from the Takashimadaira exit and entered National Route 17. From Sasame Dori, I transferred to the Tokyo Gaikan Expressway and headed towards the Kanetsu Expressway.
I took the Kanetsu Expressway towards Niigata. This section is also expensive, but you can ride it comfortably. There are rest facilities such as Ogose PA and Hanazono SA along the way. I got off at Arashiyama Ogawa IC and entered Prefectural Route 11. From here it becomes a mountain road, but the road is wide and has gentle curves, making it easy to drive.
On Prefectural Route 11, we entered Higashichichibu Village via the Ogawa bypass and Prefectural Route 274. In the village, there are landmarks such as Oni Udon restaurant and Totoro moss art. We arrived at Jomine Pass on the left just beyond the fork in the pass.
Highlights of Jomine Pass
At Jomine Pass, we first had lunch at Oni Udon at Joho Pass. I ordered cold demon udon. The udon noodles topped with plenty of spicy Kinpira burdock and grated radish were refreshing and delicious. The seasonal condiment was ginger. The inside of the store was rustic and calm, and the owner and his wife were kind. The store was decorated with goods and photos of the anime “Initial D.”
After dinner, we looked around at monuments and observation decks. The monument was engraved with the history of the opening of Jomine Pass and the names of those who made contributions. From the observation deck, you could see the mountains in the Chichibu and Oku-Musashi areas. The weather was good, so we could see Mt. Fuji in the distance. It was an irresistible view for mountain lovers.
I also took a short walk from the trailhead. There are mountain climbing courses such as Mt. Ogiri and Mt. Dodaira, but I didn’t have time this time so I gave up. However, there were also great views from the trailhead. I was able to feel nature, such as the lush forests and clear streams.
Motorcycle parking lot at Jomine Pass
There are several places around Jomine Pass that can be used as motorcycle parking lots⁴.
- Toge no Chaya parking lot: There is space for approximately 10 cars. Climbing parking costs 500 yen per day. There is also a drink vending machine.
- Joho Manju Store: This is a shop that sells Joho Manju. There is space for several cars in front of the store. It’s free, but only for store users.
- Roadside Station Washi no Sato Higashi Chichibu: This roadside station is located a little far from Prefectural Route 11. There is space for 130 regular cars. Free.
- Roadside Station Ogawamachi: A roadside station along the Ogawa Bypass. There is space for 96 regular cars.
Jomine Pass is a perfect spot for touring by motorcycle from central Tokyo. If you use the expressway or bypass, you can get there in about 2 hours. At the pass, you can eat delicious Oni Udon and Joho Manju, enjoy the spectacular views, and try your hand at mountain climbing and hiking. There are several motorcycle parking lots, but they can get crowded, so we recommend getting there early. Jomine Pass is a place where you can feel the nature and history of Oku-Musashi. Please come and visit us at least once.
The above is the content of the article about how I enjoyed motorcycle touring at Jomine Pass. Have you also wanted to go to Jomine Pass? If you are interested, please refer to it. See you in the next article.
*The English name for Sadamine Pass is “Sadamine Pass.”