With a maximum elevation of 1,622m, the Bandai Azuma Skyline is a scenic driving route meandering through the Azuma mountain range, between Takayu Onsen and Tsuchiyu Toge Pass. Selected as one of Japan’s top 100 roads, driving the alpine road through the fleecy clouds demonstrates the worthiness of its name “Skyline”.
You won’t be able to take your eyes off the breathtakingly diverse scenery ranging from lush greenery to wild volcanic landscapes. Early spring ice walls on either side of the road and the changing leaves of autumn are seasonal spectacles.
Don’t miss the Azuma Hakkei (Eight Views of Azuma) selected by the noted writer Yasushi Inoue. The highlight of the drive is the Fudosawa Bridge spanning over the Tsubakuro Valley. The view from the bridge is spectacular and makes visitors feel as if they were floating in the sky.
Along the way, Jododaira is a good place to take a break as it is home to a rest house, visitor centre and observatory. A hiking trail to Mount Azuma Kofuji, popular for its monstrous crater known as the “Cauldron”, also starts here. The gigantic crater is a must visit, while fumes can be seen emitting from the nearby active volcano, Mount Issai Kyozan.
Be sure to confirm opening times before travelling as the Bandai Azuma Skyline is closed during winter.