The Tsugaru Iwaki Skyline is one of the most challenging drives on Earth. Located in the northern Tōhoku region of Japan, this road with 66 hairpin turns will make you carsick just looking at it. This scenic toll road goes from the foot of Mt. Iwaki up to the eighth station, at 1.247m (4,091ft) above the sea level. It’s one of the most hairpinned roads in the world.
There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy. If you love long, windy roads that stretch out to great altitudes, you’ll be a huge fan of this road up to this volcano. Along with the breathtaking views from the top of the mountain is the near endless riding thrill provided by the road itself.
The surface of the road is asphalt. Don’t stuff your belly too much. Eventually, you might feel vomiting temptations while climbing circuitous roads at higher altitudes. This scenic toll road, run by Iwaki Skyline Co., Ltd, goes from the Ajigasawa Highway, at the foot of Mt. Iwaki, known as Tsugaru-Fuji, for its conic shape, up to the eighth station, at 1.247 meters (4,091 feet) above the sea level.
This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. At the summit there’s a parking lot with a chairlift to the top of the volcano. A natural forest of 90 year-old beech trees near the 3rd station makes for a superb ride up the twists and turns. A race is held on the climb every year and draws riders from far and wide to test themselves on this 10km climb.
The zig-zagging road is open from Mid April to late October. This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness. The gate is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Road closed from 5:00 p.m.). A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. Bicycles aren’t allowed access even when the road is open.
It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns. The road is very steep. Starting from the Ajigasawa Highway, at 441m, the ascent is 9.3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 806 meters and the average gradient is 8.66% with sections up to 10%.
Road suggested by: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΝΙΝΙΡΑΚΗΣ