Return to Utsukushigahara

Big in Japan (für das Wortspiel ist kein Phrasenschwein groß genug!)

Off The Beaten Path


When I returned from my first ride to Utsukushigahara, I was ecstatic about the amazing climb, the wonderful scenery and lonesome gravel road at the top, and the incredible descent where hairpin turns followed one another so quickly. But Natsuko was a little disappointed: „You didn’t go on the other gravel road.“ It’s true, I had missed the turn-off for the „beautiful“ gravel road that she had indicated on the map. I had realized my mistake only when I was already half-way down the mountain. So just before I left Japan, I snuck out for another ride to Utsukushigahara.


Two-thirds up the first, hour-long climb, I stopped at the stone statues that guard a particularly steep hairpin turn. It was autumn now, and clouds were covering the mountains. It seemed prudent to say a quick prayer and ask the gods for safety on this ride.


On this ride, you gain elevation…

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