Iroha-zaka is the zigzag slope road on Route 120 between central Nikko city and Lake Chuzenji.
Nikko station is at an elevation of about 530 meters.
The foot of Iroha-zaka is at an elevation of about 830 meters. The distance from Nikko station to there is about 10 km.
Iroha-zaka road leads from there to Lake Chuzenji located at the level of about 1,270 meters within only a distance of about 3 km by airline distance. (The length of the road is about 7-8 km.)
The upslope road and the downslope road are separated.
The former has 20 hairpin curves, and the latter has 28 ones.
We Japanese has been used the 48 basic charachters for syllabic sounds
of Japanese language.
In the 11th century, somebody composed a poem using all 48 characters with no overlaps.
All Japanese people know the poem, and the first 3 sounds are "i-ro-ha".
Iroha-zaka has 48 hairpin curves, so such name has been given. At each curve, a character is displayed in order of the sounds in the poem.
There is Akechidaira rest area about 2 km from the end of upslope road.
We can go to Akechidaira Observatory by ropeway.
From the observatory, we can see Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji and the mountains in Nikko area.
Along the downslope road, we can see a few waterfalls such as "Hoto Waterfall" and "Han'nya Waterfall" and a rocky cliff "Byobu-iwa".
Buses and cars surely pass this road between Nikko city and Lake Chuzenji, Kegon Waterfall.
Photo by © TOCHIGI PREFECTURAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION TOKYO OFFICE/© JNTO
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