The prefecture of Tokyo also has a large mountainous part with the major city called Okutama. Coming from the Tokyo metropolitan area, the road that leads to Okutama is route 411 also known as the Ome-kaido Avenue. After the city of Okutama, the road leads to Okutama lake and after that to Koshu city in Yamanashi prefecture. The part between Okutama lake and Koshu city is a very enjoyable driving road called the Daibosatsu Line.
From Lake Okutama, the first 10 to 15 minutes of driving start with a lot of curves as the road is twisting along the Taba river. Soon you will enter the city of Tabayama, which has a big reststop popular for motoring enthusiasts. From Tabayama it takes around 20 minutes to get to Yanagizawa Touge, the highest point of the Daibosatsu Line. On the way there is a big variety of roads with large sweepers, tight curves and hairpins. At the highest point there is a restaurant and viewpoint so it is a good point for a pitstop.
From Yanagizawa Touge the road will go downwards to Koshu city. The first part, so the top part of the mountain, is very new with fresh asphalt (speaking in 2021) and large curves that even go almost 360 degrees round. Originally this was a road with mostly hairpins. Half way down (after the tunnels), there is a small waterfall that freezes up in winter which is an interesting sight. Continuing further down for another 10-15 minutes you will reach the entrance to the Fruit Line at some point, which has a lot of fruit farms as the name suggests. Also worth a visit. Parts of the Fruit Line give a great view over the valley of Koshu and Kofu.
The road middle section of the road between Koshu and Yanagizawa Touge is three lanes (2 up and 1 down) which allows from some higher speeds than regular mountain passes. Along the full route 411 the road quality is generally very good but there are some parts at which you should take care as in the winter these roads get frozen and resulting in poor quality asphalt. The Koshu side also has more wide roads than the Tokyo side.
Lake Okutama as well as Okutama city are popular tourist attractions so there is plenty to do in this area such as visiting sightseeing spots, hot springs, relax at the lake or do some hiking. Due to this reason the route 411 can be busy on weekends and holidays. Though a lot of car enthusiasts from the Tokyo metropolitan area come to the route 411 for driving, so on these days you can be sure to meet some similar minded people.
Google Maps link:
Route 411 Okutama – Daibosatsu Line