dangerousroads.org

the world's most spectacular roads

Iroha-zaka is a pair of famous winding roads located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It’s the main access to connect the lower elevations around central Nikko to the higher elevations of the mountainous Okunikko region.

This pair of asphalted roads it’s a 1-way switchback mountain road (2 separate roads; up and down). It’s necessary to use the Second Iroha-zaka to go up, and use the First Iroha-zaka to come down.

 

Each corner has a letter of ancient Japanese alphabet, and you will see it in alphabetical order. The alphabetical order starts from I-ro-ha, while modern alphabet starts from a-i-u. This road used to be for ascetics in the past. Iroha-Zaka ascends more than 1,300 feet (396 m). This road plays a significant role in Japanese history: The route was popular with Buddhist pilgrims on their way to Lake Chuzenji, which is at the top of the forested hill that this road climbs.

 

"Iroha" are the first three of 48 syllables of the formerly used Japanese alphabet (which is now known as "aiueo"), and "zaka" means "slope" - the Irohazaka Winding Roads were so named because together they consist of 48 hairpin turns. The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. Exercise extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners. Drive with your headlights on at all times as it is easier for oncoming vehicles to see you.

 

Today, the older road is only open to downward traffic and includes a pit stop from where you can see two waterfalls. The newer road, meanwhile, is only open to upward traffic as far as the Akechidaira Plateau near the top of the road. People started calling the slope Iroha-zaka in the early Showa era. Ancient Japanese alphabet consisted of 48 letters, and the number of curve is 48. Therefore, tourist guides started calling the slope Iroha-zaka. Today, the number of curve is 30 because the road was improved in 1954.The two roads were respectively built in 1954 and 1965 as some of Japan's first toll roads, but were later turned toll free.

 

This road has been heralded as one of the most spectaculars roads in the world by the dangerousroads.org users. Today's First Iroha-zaka was made in that time. In addition, the Second Iroha-zaka (Up only) was made to adjust more traffic. The number of curves increased up to 50, but 2 curves were decreased in order to match to the 48 letters.

Share this road

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Comments   

0 #2 Stella 2014-05-09 17:56
Hi, yes thbis piece of writin is actually good and I hawve learned lot of
things frtom it regarding blogging. thanks.
0 #1 http:// 2014-05-09 10:23
Veryy ԁescrіptive article, I liked thаt a
lot. Will there be a part 2?

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Find the roads on your country

Newest roads

Abra del Lizoite
  Abra del Lizoite is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,536m (14,882 ft) above the sea level, located on the border between Jujuy and Salta…

Read More

Pista 5 (Santa Victoria)
  Pista 5 is a gravel road with lots of hairpins, climbing up to Santa Victoria Oeste, a small town in the Santa Victoria Department, at the northw…

Read More

Alpine Loop
Alpine Loop is a spectacular drive with a length of 63 miles located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado, USA. The road climbs up two 1…

Read More

Roßfeldpanoramastraße
 
The Roßfeldpanoramastraße is a toll-Alpine road located in the Alps of Berchtesgaden in the district of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria (Germany).…

Read More

Roßfeldpanoramastraße
 
The Roßfeldpanoramastraße is a toll-Alpine road located in the Alps of Berchtesgaden in the district of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria (Germany).…

Read More

Riedberg Pass
  Riedberg Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1,420m (4,659ft) above the sea level, located in the district of Oberallgäu, in Bavaria. It's…

Read More

Bosua Pass
  Bosua Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,728m (5,669 ft) above the sea level, located in central Namibia. The pass is traversed by…

Read More

C28
  C28 is a highway of central Namibia with a length of 310km, linking Windhoek to the coast. It’s said to be one of the less traveled roads in the…

Read More

Abra del Gallo
  Abra del Gallo is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,630m (15,190 ft) above the sea level, located in the Salta province, Argentina.…

Read More

Tomichi Pass Trail


Tomichi Pass Trail is a 4,6 miles trail located in Chaffee County, Colorado (USA), at an elevation of 8,556 to 11,985 feet, driveable from July to…

Read More

Abra el Acay
Abra el Acay is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,972 meters (16,312 ft), above the sea level, located in La Poma Departament, Salta Province,…

Read More

Ruta 40
Ruta Nacional 40 is a route in western Argentina, stretching from Cabo Virgenes in Santa Cruz Province in the south to La Quiaca in Jujuy Province…

Read More

Most popular roads

1 Death Road
La Carretera de los Yungas is, probably, the most famous road in the world as well as the most dangerous. It has been heralded as one of the most spec…

Read More

2 Skippers Canyon Road
The Skippers Canyon Road, located in in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island, is today one of New Zealand's better known scenic roads and unbe…

Read More

3 Tian Men Shan Big Gate Road
Tianmen Shan Big Gate (also called the Tianmen Winding Mountain Road) is a road located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwe…

Read More

4 Leh Manali Highway
The Leh-Manali Highway is a high mountain road situated in India. It spans over a length of 479 km (298 mi) among the Himalaya mountain range. It…

Read More

5 Furka Pass
The Furka pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2,431 m (7976ft) above sea level, located in one of the snowiest regions in Switzerland. The…

Read More

6 Grand Trunk Road

The Grand Trunk Road is one of the of South Asia's oldest and longest major roads. The road, often called as the "Gernaili Sadak" (the Generals' R…

Read More

7 Lysevegen
The popular tourist road Lysevegen in Forsand in Ryfylke (FV500) is a curvy mountainous road going from Lysebotn innermost in the Lysefjord to Sirdal,…

Read More

8 Gorges du Dadès
Road of a thousand Kasbahs is a spectacular drive winding through stunning desert landscapes, villages and palm groves through the DadesValley between…

Read More

9 Burma Road
Burma Road is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a steep and narrow zig-zag road between Burma (also called Myanmar) with t…

Read More

10 Pamir Highway
The historical Pamir Highway, officially called M41, is an excellent challenge for a 4x4 adventure travelers. Most of the road is paved, except fo…

Read More

Share YOUR roads!
We've more than 1,400 roads but we want more. We want your experiences too! Do you know any spectacular roadClick here to send us all the info, and we'll publish it