Visit this unusual site and you can say that you have visited three prefectures in one day.
If you’re like us and like to explore parts of Japan that few tourists know abouttoday’s adventure will suit you perfectly.
Today we leave for theLimit of three prefectures“, which marks the place where three prefectures meet. About 40 of these three-point borders are said to exist around Japan, but most of them are located in inaccessible places like mountains and rivers, so this particular border is unique and worth visiting.
The border of the three prefectures marks the junction of Tochigi, Gunma, and Saitama prefecturesand although you can access the site from any of these areas, we recommend that you Michi no Eki (“Bus station”) Kazowatase in Saitama as the best starting point as it has parking, rest rooms and shops and it is only 450 meters (0.28 miles) from the border.
▼ Michi no Eki Kazowatase
Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma will be your guide today, although he’s not as professional as most, as he arrived here at 5.30pm, half an hour after the establishment closed for the day. Yet the border of the three prefectures does not have a closing time – it is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the week – so he stopped at the commemorative sign and took a photo before casually heading there.
▼ The three photos in the circles (from left to right) show scenes from Gunma Itakura TownSaitama’s City of Kazoby Tochigi Tochigi Citywhich meet at the limit point.
Following the signs, the boundary of the three prefectures seemed to be down a flight of stairs and 450 meters away.
For some reason, Masanuki thought the junction would be on the grounds of the Michi no Eki, but as he descended the stairs, he realized he was leaving the parking lot and heading into the countryside.
It started to rain a bit, so Masanuki picked up the pace and sprinted lightly, keeping an eye out for signs pointing him in the right direction along the way.
▼ Turn right in 150 meters
▼ Turn right here
After turning right, Masanuki ran about 250 meters and couldn’t help but smile when he saw this handwritten sign that read:
▼ “Welcome! The border of the three prefectures is just ahead. This is Tochigi Prefecture.
▼ And right next to the building was this sign, leading the way to the border entrance.
The path stretched here like a red carpet, guiding Masanuki to the site he had just run for in the rain. The cobbled driveway in front showed the care taken to make the site accessible to all, and it didn’t take long for Masanuki to arrive at…
▼ …the border of the three prefectures!
Originally Masanuki had planned to just look around the site and take a few pictures for us before walking away. However, now that he had arrived, he felt a sense of accomplishment rising within him, so he decided to interact with the site a little more, showing us what the landscape looked like in all three directions.
▼ Tochigi Prefecture
▼ Gunma Prefecture
▼ Saitama Prefecture
Strangely, each prefecture seemed slightly different from this point, something Masanuki hadn’t expected.
▼ This handwritten panel gives you an overview of the prefectural perimeter.
▼ In the middle of the boundary is a brass plate on a cement block that marks the center of the junction.
On the plaque are the words “Limit of three prefectures“, as well as the latitude and longitude of the location and the names of Saitama’s City of Kazoby Tochigi Tochigi Cityand that of Gunma Itakura Town.
▼ The original brass plate was stolen in an unsolved mystery that happened in August last year.
Before leaving the site, Masanuki couldn’t help but take a quick tour of each prefecture, hopping across each to commemorate his visit.
The rain was starting to spit harder now, so Masanuki grabbed his camera and bid farewell to Gunma and Tochigibefore returning to Michi no Eki in Saitama.
It was a fun day and Masanuki had the sights all to himself while he was there. He highly recommends visiting the unusual three-lane border if you can, and you can always stop and pump some hot spring water at this special DIY stall in Saitama while you’re there.
Michi no Eki Kazo Watarase / 道の駅かぞわたらせ
Address: Saitama-ken, Kazo-shi, Onofukuro 1745-1
Open: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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