Irohazaka road near Nikkō, Japan
Info. Irohazaka road
These bends in our photo are just eight of the 48 curves you'll navigate on your way up and down Irohazaka, a pair of winding mountain roads outside the city of Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. That's one switchback for each of the 48 hiragana symbols in an ancient Japanese writing system, with each turn marked by a sign showing one symbol. This is how the scenic loop got its name – “i-ro-ha” are the first three syllables of the old Japanese alphabet and “zaka” means “slope”.