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We actually went here on a motorcycle.

 
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You will be deeply impressed by the wonderful autumn leaves!
It is a stunning road along the Chikuma river, National Route 117.

National Route 117 connects Nagano City in Nagano Prefecture and Ojiya City in Niigata Prefecture, which is a main road totaling 127 km.Traffic is somewhat large because it is going along the Sea of Japan and being the only contact route in the area.But traffic is comfortable. Because there are few signals except urban areas, it is exhilarating like Hokkaido.This is a very rare runway for the inland route connecting urban areas.
Noteworthy is the scenery along that line. The scenery where the biggest river "Chikuma river" in Japan and rural and satoyama are scattered leaves the old Japanese landscape.There are also many old houses built over 100 years in this area. Distant view of a village where the old private house painted with red and blue is forested, the illusion appears to have slipped to the world of old tales.

Near Chikumagawa

The road itself is also a highlight. Because of the mountains along the river, autumn leaves are superb. There are places such as Kiyotsu Narrow and Akiyama Township in the vicinity, but enjoy running autumn leaves fully enough even by running on the road.
And this road is also a very convenient route linking many sights and scenic spots.
It can be used for major routes to Nozawa Onsen and Nabekura Plateau, as well as the previous Kiyotsu Narrow and Akiyama Towns. Although it is an area outside the expressway, I do not feel any stress of traffic at all.
Spring fresh green, summer green, autumn leaves, and winter snow scene. It is the charm of this route that you can enjoy various colors according to the four seasons. However, it should be noted that this area is a special heavy snowfall area. The snow cover in winter is lightly over 3 m, so the trip is not easy.


Local railroad and motorcycle

The local line of Hokushin, the Iiyama line is famous for the beautiful scenery of the car window. It is roughly parallel to the old road of National Route 117, and in the old road touring it is often to see its appearance. Diesel's heavy running noise is also attractive.


Old road

The old road is incompletely serviced and the elongated branches and leaves are popping out. However, during autumn leaves it becomes a very dynamic riding sensation. Because the roughness of the road surface is not so bad, you can go easy at ease.


Autumun Leaves

The mountains in this area can enjoy the scenery of splendid autumnal leaves divided into three layers of white, red and green by altitude. The best spot is Akiyama Township. Let's enjoy the scenery that colors autumn leaving.


Good road

Riding while overlooking the majestic Chikuma river. The road width is wide, and there are almost no signals. It's like a refreshing route like Hokkaido. It is a road recommended not only for the autumn leaves season but also for early summer and dark green times.


Old Dam

Nishi Otaki Dam constructed in the Chikumagawa River near the 117th National Route is a very historic dam which was completed in 1959, which was responsible for the modernization of Japan. Currently it boasts the largest power generation scale in Japan as a hydroelectric power plant.


Tunnele in dum

Nishi Otori Dam can run on the top edge of the dam. The appearance that the tunnels are continuous is the atmosphere of a different world. A gate is installed right under the upper end, and the water current released with a roaring sound is impressive.


Old hotel japanese style

Nogawa Onsenkyo is the place to go absolutely in this area. It is one of the biggest spa town in Japan. There are 13 communal baths, and it is fun to visit them. It is advisable to make an accommodation plan and visit.


Traffic volume
As the main road connecting Niigata and Nagano, there are many traffic such as trucks in particular. However, except for urban areas traffic is very small and traffic is comfortable. Let's be careful as local car speed is fast.
Road surface
Except for the old road, a broad road with almost high standards. There are many large-sized cars, but the road surface is also very smooth, with almost no irregularities. Please pay attention to the water injection port in the winter melting snow near the center line.

 
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