Japan Drive Route Guide

Area
Around Tokyo & Mt.Fuji(Kanto)
Travel Period
6D5N
Route
338
Overview
Start
Tokyo
Goal
Tokyo
Way
return_trip
Travel Pace
busy
Distance
970 km
Rank
Highway fee
¥ 12,100
About this route
6 days 5 nights driving route which you can drive across the Honshu(main) island, goes to Niigata located Sea of Japan side and returns to Tokyo via Nagano, Kusatsu and so on. The driving distance is about 1000km for 6days and you can drive along the mountains, coast, highland, old town and so on. It doesn't include a consecutive stay in the same city and due to long driving distance, the travel pace is will be busy. If you prefer a more relaxing itinerary, route 339 which is added one more night at Karuizawa. It is also recommended for travelers who like Onsen because you can stay a maximum of 5 nights stay at the inn with Onsen. The highlight of this route is "Kiyotsukyo Gorge Tunnel", "Togakushi Shrine Avenue of cedar trees", "Onioshidashi Volcanic Park", UNESCO world heritage "Tomioka Silk Mill" and so on. And on day 5th, you can enjoy driving on "Shiga Kusatsu Route(Route292)" from Nagano to Kusatsu, which is considered one of the best scenic driving routes in the whole of Japan. Recommended food are Pork miso bowl in Chichibu, Mizusawa Udon near Ikaho Onsen town, seafood suchi as Sushi in Niigata, Togakushi Soba and so on. Another feature of this route is that you can enjoy flowers of various seasons. In spring, you can enjoy contrast of cherry blossom and rape blossom, Poppyand Moss Pink. In summer, you can enjoy Sunflowers. And in autumn, you can enjoy amazing autuml colored leaves at many sightseeing spots. Moreover, you also can drive between the snow corridors on the Shiga Kusatsu Route(Route292) from the end of April to the beginning of May. Our daily driving map will recommend you only the spots where is the best timing to visit.

Tokyo

rental_car
Location Guide Page

Chichibu/Nagatoro

sightseeing
150 612 715*63
Location Guide Page

Kawagoe Town

sightseeing
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Chichibu/Nagatoro

sightseeing
150 612 715*63
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Yuzawa/Minakami

sightseeing
253 081 445*08
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Ikaho Onsen Ishidangai

sightseeing
Check Description
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Kaminoyama Park

sightseeing
94 846 450
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Fukiware Waterfall

sightseeing
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Yuzawa/Minakami

sightseeing
253 081 445*08
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Niigata

public_facility
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Kiyotsukyo Gorge Tunnel

sightseeing
253 195 489*35
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Roadside Station TsubameSanjo Regional Products Center

public_facility
58 832 556*66
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Mt.Yahikoyama

sightseeing
190 127 799*31
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Niigata

public_facility
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Nagano/Myoko

sightseeing
Check Description
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Teradomari Street Market (Sakana no Ameyoko)

sightseeing
58 812 295*21
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Naena Falls

sightseeing
469 047 422
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Togakushi Shrine Okusha(Main Shrine) Avenue of cedar trees

sightseeing
1 004 009 265*36
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Nagano/Myoko

sightseeing
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Kusatsu

public_facility
341 446 176*72
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Obuse Town

public_facility
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Jigokudani Monkey Park

sightseeing
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Yugama

sightseeing
341 499 184
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Kusatsu

public_facility
341 446 176*72
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Tokyo

rental_car
Location Guide Page

Onioshidashi Volcanic Park

sightseeing
737 064 896
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Karuizawa Lake Garden

sightseeing
292 464 474*42
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Kawagoe Town

sightseeing
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Day. 1Tokyo to Chichibu/Nagatoro
This day, you will head from Tokyo to either Chichibu or Nagatoro. Mileage is about 130km. Once you rent a car, it is highly recommended to take the expressway to "Kawagoe town(川越)" to avoid traffic jams. "Kagwagoe Town(川越)" is an old town where keeps a typical traditional street with old houses, shops, and warehouses. It is easy to spend 2-3 hours to walk around. It is also nice to have lunch there. Saitama prefecture which Kawagoe belongs to has many great spots for flowers or autumn colored leaves. Only the spots which are in good timing to visit during your travel will appear. If you find these seasonal spots on your map, it is highly recommended to visit. Today's destinations, both Nagatoro and Chichibu have many attractions too. It is also a good idea to reach there in the early time.
Rent a car at Tokyo
If you want to rent or return your car in Tokyo, below branches are recommended. Please choose the one which is suitable for your itinerary. [1]Haneda Airport branch-羽田 営業所 If you want to rent or return your car at Haneda Airport(Tokyo International Airport)(HND), this "Haneda Airport" branch is recommended regardless of whether you take international flight or doemstic flight. From / to Haneda airport each terminal, rental car company provides free shuttle bus. Normally, it takes 20min. However, it takes about 1hour in peak season. [2]Narita Airport branch-成田空港 営業所 If you want to rent or return your car at Narita Airport (Narita International Airport)(NRT), this "Narita Airport" branch is recommended regardless of whether you take international flight or doemstic flight. From / to Narita airport each terminal, rental car company provides free shuttle bus. Normally, it takes 15-30min. Please take note that "Narita Airport" is about 75km away from central Tokyo, and it takes about 70 minutes without traffic jam. please move with plenty of time. [3]Seibu Shinjuku Station branch-西武新宿駅前営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Shinjuku, this "Seibu Shinjuku Station" branch is recommended. It is located 700m away from Shinjuku Station and also near to "Kabukicho" area where have thousands of shops, restaurants and many accommodations. [4]Shibuya Station East Exit branch-渋谷駅東口 営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Shibuya, this "Shibuya Station East Exit" branch is recommended. It is located 350m away from Shibuya Station and famous Shibuya scramble crossing. [5]Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit branch-東京駅八重洲南口 営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Tokyo station, this "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit" branch is recommended. It is located underground of Tokyo Station. Very convenient if you plan to take bullet train. However, this branch does not support rental car drop-offs. If you rent a car from this branch, you can return it here.
High light
Stay at Chichibu/Nagatoro
On this day, you will stay either Chichibu(秩父) or Nagatoro(長瀞). Chichibu and Nagatoro are about 13km apart, about 20 minutes by car. Nagatoro is on the north side and Chichibu is on the south side. Both towns are not too far away and there is no big difference, so choose your favorite inn considering the next day's journey and access to the surrounding sightseeing spots. Both Chichibu and Nagatoro have inns of various styles from 3 stars to 5 stars. However, neither is a very large town, and the number of inns and restaurants is limited. If you are staying at Japanese style Ryokan with a hot spring, we recommend a plan with dinner and breakfast. If you are staying at a hotel, we recommend a plan without dinner, but it is recommended that you think about where to eat dinner in advance. Please take note that most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
Day. 2Chichibu/Nagatoro to Yuzawa/Minakami
This day, you will head from either Chichibu or Nagatoro to Yuzawa. Mileage is about 170km without expressway and this day has a lot of attractions. We highly recommend you to depart at 8:00~9:00 if you don't like hurried travel. On the way to Yuzawa, there are more than 10 spots where are famous for their flowers or autumn colored leaves. Only the spots which are in good timing to visit during your travel will appear. If you find these seasonal spots on your map, it is recommended to visit. The highlights of the day are "Ikaho Onsen Ishidangai(伊香保温泉石段街)" which is a traditional onsen town with more than 1300 years of history. You can enjoy walking, a food bath and enjoy shopping there. It is also highly recommended to visit "Kaminoyama Park(上ノ山公園)" by car or taking "Ikaho Ropeway(伊香保ロープウェイ)". An amazing panoramic view is waiting for you. Today's lunch is Mizusawa Udon where is nationally famous. There are dozens of Udon noodle shop along Mizusawa Udon Street and it is one of must- eat food during this travel. Another recommendation is "Fukiware Waterfall(吹割の滝)". However, this waterfall is located off the route and will take a detour. If you want to visit, it is recommended to depart the Ikaho Onsen area at least 2hours before sunset. This day's destination Yuzawa is located on the other side of the Tanigawa mountain range and to reach there, it is highly recommended to take expressway E17(Kanetsu). If you take a normal way(route17), you need to drive in to allow a winding road and it takes more than an additional 1 hour.
Stay at Yuzawa/Minakami
On this day, you will stay at either Yuzawa(湯沢) or Minakami Onsen(水上温泉). Two cities are about 30 km away and take 30min by expressway E17(Kanetsu). Please note that if you try to drive a normal road (National Route 17) instead of the expressway E17, it is about 50km and takes more than an hour and a half. Yuzawa is on the north side and Minakami Onsen is on the south side. Both are nationally famous for snow resort with Onsen and there are both Japanese style Ryokan and western-style hotels. [Yuzawa] Yuzawa has various style accommodations from 3-5 stars. If you stay at 4-5 star luxury accommodations, it is recommended to book with a plan with dinner and breakfast. There are some Izakaya style restaurant on the west side of EchigoYuzawa station, so if you want to stay reasonable inn, it is recommended to book the inn around the station without dinner. [Minakami Onsen] Most of the accommodations in Minakami Onsen are 4-5 star Ryokans with hot springs. They will provide Onsen and nice Japanese Kaiseki style dinners. Restaurants and shops in the city close evening and you must book a plan with dinner and breakfast. Unlike Yuzawa, the inns in Minakami are widely dispersed and there are no restaurants or shops around, so be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast. Most inns have official free parking.
Day. 3Yuzawa/Minakami to Niigata
This day will head from Echigoyuzawa or Minakami to Niigata city. Mileage is about 170km and it is recommended to depart at 8:00~9:00 if you don't like hurried travel. If you haven't visited "Kiyotsukyo Gorge Tunnel(清津峡渓谷トンネル)" it is highly recommended to visit first. After there, it is nice to drive a very scenic road called Uonuma skyline. You can take photos at the several observatories along the road. Around the middle of this day, there are some spots where are famous for their flowers or autumn-colored leaves. Only the spots which are in good timing to visit during your travel will appear. If you find these seasonal spots on your map, it is recommended to visit. In the latter half of the day, there are two areas which you should visit. One is Tsubame Sanjo cities, world-famous for metal products. The "SUWADA OPEN FACTORY" is worth to visit and "Roadside Station TsubameSanjo Regional Products Center(道の駅 燕三条地場センター)" is the best place to buy the best quality cutleries. Another recommended area is the Yahiko area. From "Mt.Yahikoyama(弥彦山)" you can see breathtaking scenery for both Niigata plain side and seaside. It is also a good idea to see the sunset too. The driving distance is long for this day. To save your time, it is recommended to take the expressway if the car navigation guides it to take.
Stay at Niigata
Day. 4Niigata to Nagano/Myoko
This day will head from Niigata to Nagano or Myoko city. Mileage is more than 200km and this day has many attractions. It is recommended to depart at 8:00~9:00 if you don't like hurried travel. If you haven’t visited “Mt.Yahikoyama(弥彦山)”, it is recommended to visit first. You can enjoy the dynamic scenery of the mountain peak. After that, you can enjoy driving along the coast. It is highly recommended to eat fresh seafood for the lunch at either “Teradomari Street Market (Sakana no Ameyoko)-寺泊魚の市場通り(魚のアメ横)” or “Nihonkai Fisherman's Cape(日本海フィッシャーマンズケープ)”. The driving distance is long and most of the highlights such as “Naena falls(苗名滝)” and “Togakushi Shrine Okusha(Main Shrine) Avenue of cedar trees-戸隠神社奥社表参道杉並木” are located at the end of this day. To save your time, it is also recommended to take the expressway. If you stay in Nagano city, it is recommended to stay in Shukubo(temple stay) but in that case, please reach your accommodation by 18:00 due to their check-in time.
Stay at Nagano/Myoko
On this day, you will stay in Nagano city(長野). Most of the accommodations are concentrated around Nagano Station. Most of the accommodations in this city are not Japanese style Ryokans but western-style hotels. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your hotels with breakfast only or without meals. We also recommend staying at a temple called "Shukubo" around Zenkoji, a symbol of Nagano City. This is basically a plan with two meals per night for shōjin dishes (vegetarian dishes that do not use meat or fish). Some shukubo offer to morning ceremony called "Oasaji" or some activities such as copying sutras(Shakyo). Please note that few inns in Nagano have their own parking lots, and in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately or you will be instructed to park in a public parking lot. For those who want to stay at an inn with a hot spring, we also recommend the "Myoko" area, which is also famous as a snow resort. It is about 32km from Nagano City and about 45 minutes by car. "
Day. 5Nagano/Myoko to Kusatsu
This day will head from Nagano or Myoko to Kusatsu. It is a very relaxing day because the Mileage is about 90km only. If you stay in Nagano city, it will be a very unique experience to wake up early and join the daily morning ceremony(Oasaji) at "Zenkoji Temple(善光寺)". It takes additional time but if you haven't visited, “Togakushi Shrine Okusha(Main Shrine) Avenue of cedar trees-戸隠神社奥社表参道杉並木” is a must-see spot. Just 18km away from Nagano, "Obuse(小布施)" town which called small Kyoto is highly recommended to visit. You can enjoy walking allow a pass in a charming town. It is also good to have lunch there. After Obuse, famous snow monkeys are waiting for you at "Jigokudani Monkey Park(地獄谷野猿公園)". From the monkey park, you will start mountain driving along the Kusatsu-Shiga road(route292) which is one of the best scenic driving routes in Japan for its altitude(more than 2000m height) and an active volcano. From the end of October to the beginning of May, you also can enjoy driving in between snow walls. It is really unique experience and highly recommended. But because of them, sometimes it will be closed due to snow or volcano activity. Please check the official information in advance. Kusatsu Onsen, definitely one of the most famous Onsen towns in Japan has many attractions such as "Yubatake (湯畑)" and "Netsu no Yu(熱乃湯)". It is also a good idea to reach there in the early time.
Stay at Kusatsu
On this day, you will stay Kusatsu Onsen(草津温泉). Kusatsu is one of the most famous Onsen areas in the whole of Japan and most of the accommodations, both western-style hotels and Japanese-style Ryokans have Onsen facilities. If you stay 4-5 star Ryokans, it is possible to enjoy a room with private Onsen and nice Japanese Kaiseki-style dinners. In that case, it is recommended to book with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast. There are many shops and restaurants around Yubatake, a landmark of Kusatsu Onsen. If you stay at a reasonably priced inn, the plan without dinner is recommended and you can enjoy meals at a local restaurant. Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately. There are many free footbaths and some spots are light up in this town and walk around there at night is also consider as the attraction of Kusatsu. It recommends staying at an inn within walking distance of Yubatake and Sainokawara Park. For those who have stayed in Kusatsu before or those who like mountain resorts, Manza Onsen located 20km west is also recommended.
Day. 6Kusatsu to Tokyo
This day, you will head from Kusatsu to Tokyo. Mileage is more than 230㎞ and there are many attractions on this day. It is recommended to depart at 8:00~9:00 if you don't like hurried travel. The first destination is "Onioshidashi Volcanic Park(鬼押出し園)". You can see strange strange scenery formed as a result of the large amount of lava and a magnificent view of Mt.Asama. "Karuizawa Lake Garden(軽井沢レイクガーデン)" located 6km south of Karuizawa is nice to visit especially rose and autumn colored leave season. If you like history, UNESCO World Heritage "Tomioka Silk Mill(富岡製糸場)" is recommended too. to learn the modernization of Japan. The best highlight of this day is "Kagwagoe Town(川越)" a town where keeps a typical traditional street with old houses, shops, and warehouses. It is easy to spend 2-3 hours. It is about 60km from Kawagoe to the center of Tokyo. It takes at least 1.5hours by using the expressway. It is very tough to visit all the above spots on this day. Please plan a schedule in advance. There are many traffic jams in the center of the Tokyo area. We highly recommended planning with plenty of time. The above plan is for travelers who will stay in Tokyo on this day. There are possibilities to fall into an unpredictable situation and very risky to try to take a flight or bullet train after your returning your car on this day. We highly recommend you to extend your travel period or choose shorter driving routes. If you don't stay Tokyo and take flight on this day, please reach rental car shop at least 3 hours before the flight.
Return a car at Tokyo
If you want to rent or return your car in Tokyo, below branches are recommended. Please choose the one which is suitable for your itinerary. [1]Haneda Airport branch-羽田 営業所 If you want to rent or return your car at Haneda Airport(Tokyo International Airport)(HND), this "Haneda Airport" branch is recommended regardless of whether you take international flight or doemstic flight. From / to Haneda airport each terminal, rental car company provides free shuttle bus. Normally, it takes 20min. However, it takes about 1hour in peak season. [2]Narita Airport branch-成田空港 営業所 If you want to rent or return your car at Narita Airport (Narita International Airport)(NRT), this "Narita Airport" branch is recommended regardless of whether you take international flight or doemstic flight. From / to Narita airport each terminal, rental car company provides free shuttle bus. Normally, it takes 15-30min. Please take note that "Narita Airport" is about 75km away from central Tokyo, and it takes about 70 minutes without traffic jam. please move with plenty of time. [3]Seibu Shinjuku Station branch-西武新宿駅前営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Shinjuku, this "Seibu Shinjuku Station" branch is recommended. It is located 700m away from Shinjuku Station and also near to "Kabukicho" area where have thousands of shops, restaurants and many accommodations. [4]Shibuya Station East Exit branch-渋谷駅東口 営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Shibuya, this "Shibuya Station East Exit" branch is recommended. It is located 350m away from Shibuya Station and famous Shibuya scramble crossing. [5]Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit branch-東京駅八重洲南口 営業所 If you want to rent or return the car at Tokyo station, this "Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit" branch is recommended. It is located underground of Tokyo Station. Very convenient if you plan to take bullet train. However, this branch does not support rental car drop-offs. If you rent a car from this branch, you can return it here.
Sorry, we provide our service for Kyushu and Okinawa only. Other areas are under development.