Among car enthusiasts, Mount Haruna and Lake Haruna are famous for being in the comic and anime series of Initial D. It is also a popular destination for people from the big cities in Japan to enjoy nature. In the summer it is a cool spot as the lake is located at a height of almost 1100 meter above sea level. The mountain passes in Japan having the habit of being good driving roads, the roads leading to Lake Haruna are no different.
There is the route 28 which connects Takasaki with Lake Haruna and the city of Gobara that is northwest of Lake Haruna. The latter part is what is also known as Ura Haruna translated to English means Haruna backside. Seen from the cities Takasaki or Maebashi, it is indeed on the backside of Haruna.
Starting down the mountain in Gobara, the road will initially be a single lane for climbing traffic and one for descending traffic. The first few corners are tight but soon after that the curves become larger radius with long straights connecting them. After around 6 kilometer from the beginning the single lane will turn into two lane road for the climbing traffic. Except for two tighter hairpins towards the top, the corners are generally large radius until the arrival at the lake.
The total length of the Ura Haruna part of the route 28 is around 13 kilometer long with good asphalt quality all along. Compared to other climbing or touge roads in Japan, the average speed quite high. A bit comparable with the route 1 going from Mishima to Hakone. Mount Haruna is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Tokyo. Another good driving road close by Ura-Haruna is Shibukawa Matsuida Line.
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