Yanagisawa Pass 柳沢峠 1,472m | Tokyo’s Gateway to
Climb Score Card from our full article on the 14 Best Cycling Climbs in Japan (Hint, Not Mt Fuji!).
Though not the highest or steepest, the Yanagisawa Pass is arguably one of the most frequented high pass of cyclists in Tokyo. Because of the proximity to the Tama River Cycling Road 多摩川サイクリングロード most avid cyclists choose to live nearby in west Tokyo. This means they can take the Tama River out around 40km and hit the closest mountain range to Tokyo in what is known as the Oku-Tama Area.
Here within Oku-Tama that National Route 411 heads east from Tokyo’s Ome City 青梅市 over to Yamanashi Prefecture’s Koshu City 甲州市. Thanks to being a relatively major road, this pass is very accessible and two lanes wide throughout. Also, the majority of traffic that wants to go to Mt Fuji or Yamanashi Prefecture from Tokyo will take the E20 Highway in the valley south of the Yanagisawa Pass. This leaves this road relatively low traffic most days.
Osusume Course ~ Cycling Yanagisawa Pass
From Tokyo’s Ome Station you simply follow the National Route 411 up and over, can’t be easier! Once into Koshu City on the other side the Enzan Station is just off of the main road and you can hop a train back to Tokyo.
[Climb Score Card from our full article on the 14 Best Cycling Climbs in Japan (Hint, Not Mt Fuji!).]
Gain – 5/5 | From Tokyo you gain some 1,200m of which over 800m comes in the final 17km.
Views – 3/5 | A nice dam lake on the way up, but not too many views except on the bridges. The view of Fuji on the descent is arguably the best part.
Accessibility – 5/5 | 1h express Shibuya Station to Ome Station | 1h30 express Enzan Station to Shibuya Station
Pavement – 4/5 | Decent to good pavement along most of the route but grip lines are cut in many spots that are notorious for grabbing your tires and taking a lot of fun away from descending.
Zen Factor – 3/5 | The first half of the route tends to get a decently heavy amount of traffic out to Lake Oku-Tama. Leaving early to beat the traffic is advised on this route, especially on weekends or holidays.
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