Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta. This time, I toured the Yatsugatake Kogen Line from Tokyo, so I would like to introduce it to you. Yatsugatake Kogen Line is the common name for Prefectural Route 11, which connects Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, and Fujimi Town, Suwa District, Nagano Prefecture, and is an exhilarating forest road that runs through the foothills of Yatsugatake Mountains. There are many spots where you can enjoy special products grown in the highland climate and high-quality soil, as well as spectacular views of Mt. Yatsugatake and the Southern Alps. I have ridden a round-trip course of approximately 250km on my beloved Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide.
What is Yatsugatake Kogen Line?
The Yatsugatake Kogen Line begins when you take National Route 20 from Kobuchizawa IC on the Chuo Expressway and turn left toward Kiyosato. It is approximately 25km long and has an altitude of approximately 1,000m to 1,400m. Most of the courses are forest trails, and the best time to see the fresh greenery is from May to June, and the autumn leaves are best seen from mid-October to mid-November. Although it is crowded on holidays and during the season, it is an easy forest road to ride during normal times. There are also tourist spots such as Kiyosato Plateau and Fujimi Plateau along the way.
Route to Yatsugatake Kogen Line
I started from central Tokyo. Enter Route 316 from Ningyocho-dori/Suitegu-dori and take the Shuto Expressway City Loop Line/C1 at Takaracho IC. At Miyakezaka JCT, I transferred to Shuto Expressway No. 4 Shinjuku Line and entered the Chuo Expressway. On the Chuo Expressway, I took breaks at service areas and parking areas along the way. I got off at Kobuchizawa IC and entered the Yatsugatake Kogen Line. The journey took about two and a half hours.
Highlights of the Yatsugatake Kogen Line
As soon as you enter the Yatsugatake Kogen Line, you will immediately see a beautiful forest. If you walk along the promenade from the parking lot to the observation deck, you can see a wonderful view of Mt. Yatsugatake and the Southern Alps. I also climbed up to the observation deck and took some photos. The air is clear and it feels good.
The next stop was Higashizawa Ohashi Bridge. The landmark here is the red bridge, and there is a parking lot at the foot of the bridge. You can see the Kawamata Higashisawa Valley from the bridge, but I took a photo of the bridge and Mt. Yatsugatake from the parking lot. This scenery is typical of the Yatsugatake Kogen Line.
After that, as I continued to drive along the Yatsugatake Plateau Line, Yatsugatake and the Southern Alps would occasionally appear. The road had many curves and the surface was rough in some places, so I drove carefully while driving. There are tourist spots such as Kiyosato Plateau and Fujimi Plateau along the way, but I skipped them this time. The end of the Yatsugatake Kogen Line is the Shimotsutagi intersection on National Route 20. I made a U-turn here and ran along the Yatsugatake Kogen Line once again.
Yatsugatake Kogen Line motorcycle parking lot
There are several free motorcycle parking lots on the Yatsugatake Kogen Line. I used the parking lot of Bishimori and Higashizawa Ohashi Observation Deck. The Bishimori parking lot is necessary to go to the observation deck, but the Higashizawa Ohashi parking lot is not necessary if you just want to see the valley from the bridge. However, if you want to take a photo of the bridge and Mt. Yatsugatake together, it is better to take a photo from the parking lot. There are also free motorcycle parking lots at tourist spots such as Kiyosato Kogen and Fujimi Kogen.
This time I toured the Yatsugatake Kogen Line from Tokyo. The Yatsugatake Kogen Line is an exhilarating forest road where you can enjoy spectacular views of Yatsugatake and the Southern Alps. It also has a wide variety of specialty products, including milk, cheese, buckwheat noodles, and corn. This time I just enjoyed the scenery, but next time I would like to try some of the local specialties. The Yatsugatake Kogen Line is within a day trip distance from Tokyo if you put in the effort, but it might be a good idea to stay overnight and spend some time there. See you soon.