Kenashi Pass, a winding road only for experienced drivers

Kenashi Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,910m (6,266ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Gunma and Nagano prefectures, in Japan.

Kenashi Pass

The winding road to the summit is paved and narrow. It’s called Gunma-Nagano Prefectural Road 112. It’s a steep drive, averaging at 8% and hitting a 10% through some of the turns. Grades are consistent at around 7% with a few spots straining the legs at 10-11% and only one or two ‘flat spots’ at 5%.

The road features many blind curves and hairpin bends. Learn to use the mirrors provided on corners and don’t expect too much courtesy from drivers, they may not be locals or expert in mountain roads, it is a tourist area. The pass is also the starting pointsof routes leading up Mt. Hafu and Mt. Omeshi.

The summit hosts a few disused transmission towers and a parking lot. Beyond the pass, the road goes on 3km to the Ogushi sulfur mine ruins. This final part is unpaved and closed to vehicles."Kenashi" literally means "no hair", and as its name implies, no tall trees grow in the area.