Japan National Route 103

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National Route 103 shield

National Route 103
Route information
Length130.0 km (80.8 mi)
Major junctions
North end National Route 4 in Aomori, Aomori
South end National Route 7 in Ōdate, Akita
Highway system
National highways of Japan
Expressways of Japan
National Route 102National Route 104

National Route 103 is a national highway of Japan connecting the capital of Aomori Prefecture, Aomori to Ōdate in northeastern Akita Prefecture. It has a total length of 130.0 km (80.8 mi).

Route description[edit]

Travelling out of Aomori city[edit]

The route's northern terminus is an intersection with Japan National Route 4 in the center of the city of Aomori. From here it begins its journey south through the city. Within the urbanized parts of the city it is known as Kankō Dori (Tourism Road). After passing by the headquarters of Michinoku Bank, the highway crosses over the Aoimori Railway Line. It then travels through a heavily commercialized area of the city before reaching an intersection with Japan National Route 7 and the Aomori Expressway. Route 7 serves as a frontage road to the expressway and as an eventual access point to it at Aomori-chūō Interchange.

The Hakkōda Gold Line snow corridor near Sukayu Onsen.

Continuing out of the commercial area, the highway passes Aomori Chuo Gakuin University. After passing the institution the road divides with the western route serving as a bypass to the main highway to the east. At this point the highway is known as the Hakkōda Gold Line. After passing through a residential area, the main highway and bypass begin the ascent of the Hakkōda Mountains. The highways merge near Aomori Public University, now known solely as the Hakkōda Gold Line. Continuing its ascent up the mountain, the route meets Aomori Prefecture Route 40, a route that provides access to the nearby memorial of the Hakkōda Mountains incident and then travels southeast to Towada, Aomori. Route 103 winds its way up the mountain where it reaches the Hakkōda Ropeway, a cable car that takes skiers and hikers to the peak of Mount Tamoyachi of the Hakkōda Mountains. After a short descent, the road meets Japan National Route 394 at a signaled intersection. Just a couple of kilometers from here is Sukayu Onsen, the snowiest inhabited place on earth famous for its 1,000 person mixed-use bath. The road continues winding down the mountain in southeasterly path, passing other onsen and resorts along the way. This section of road is closed during the winter, but is reopened in early spring as a "snow corridor" where visitors are allowed to walk.[1] It meets Japan National Route 102 at a junction near the Oirase River. Route 103 begins a concurrency with Route 102 here, traveling to southwest towards Lake Towada, while Route 102's eastbound traffic continues following the river's flow towards the city of Towada.

Lake Towada[edit]

The concurrency follows the Oirase River upstream until it reaches Lake Towada. At the shore of the lake, the concurrency ends with Route 102 forming the northeast and northern parts of a road that circles the lake, while Route 103 forms the eastern and southern part of the road. As the road begins to travel along the southern shore of the lake it meets Japan National Route 454 where the routes form a concurrency. Along the southern part of this circular road, Routes 103 and 454 cross into Akita Prefecture. Continuing along the lake's southern shore, the road meets the western end of the concurrency, Route 454 continues toward Route 102 as the remaining portion of the road to circle the lake while Route 103 begins travelling to the southeast.

Akita Prefecture[edit]

The road meets Japan National Route 104 and turns to the southwest towards Kazuno, Akita. In Kazuno it passes by the Ōyu Stone Circles a Jōmon period site. It continues into the city of Kazuno. In the city it passes under the Tōhoku Expressway and then crosses over the Yoneshiro River where it has a junction with the expressway. The road again crosses the Yoneshiro River several times as it crosses into Ōdate. In Ōdate the road first meets Japan National Route 285, it later has a junction with the Akita Expressway, shortly after the route again meets National Route 7 at Route 103's southern terminus.

Route 103 entrance to Towada-Hachimantai National Park with the Hakkōda Mountains in the background.

List of major junctions[edit]

All junctions listed are at-grade intersections unless noted otherwise.

AomoriAomori0.00.0 National Route 4 / National Route 45 –Hirosaki, Shin-Aomori Station, Towada, NohejiNorthern terminus, road continues north as Zeimusho-dori
3.22.0 National Route 7 (Aomori Belt Highway) – Hirosaki, Aomori-chūō, Towada, Noheji
5.43.4 E4A Aomori Prefecture Route 44 – Fujisaki, Aomori Airport, Towada, Michinoku Toll Road
18.011.2Aomori Prefecture Route 40 east – Tashirotai
24.915.5 National Route 394 south – Jogakura Bridge, Kuroishi,Northern end of National Route 394 concurrency
Towada35.321.9 National Route 394 north – Tashirotai, ShichinoheSouthern end of National Route 394 concurrency
46.629.0 National Route 102 east – Towada, National Route 4, Lake Towada, Oirase GorgeNorthern end of National Route 102 concurrency
50.431.3 National Route 102 south (Oirase Bypass) – Hirosaki, Kuroishi
60.337.5E4 National Route 102 west – Hirosaki, Kuroishi, Tōhoku ExpresswaySouthern end of National Route 102 concurrency
64.239.9 National Route 454 east – Gonohe, MayogataiNorthern end of National Route 454 concurrency
AkitaKazuno73.545.7 National Route 454 west – Hirosaki, Kuroishi, OkawataiSouthern end of National Route 454 concurrency
77.047.8Akita Prefecture Route 2 (Jyukai Line) west – Kosaka
81.850.8 National Route 104 east (Shirahagi Line) – SannoheNorthern end of unsigned National Route 104 concurrency
94.358.6Akita Prefecture Route 66 south – Hanawa, Ōyu Stone Circle
100.962.7 National Route 282 / National Route 285 west – Yuze, Hanawa, Hirakawa, Kosaka,Eastern terminus of unsigned National Route 285; northern end of unsigned National Route 285 concurrency
102.063.4E4A Tōhoku Expressway – Aomori, Morioka, Sendai, Hachinohe ExpresswayE4 exit 49 (Towada Interchange)
Ōdate110.468.6Akita Prefecture Route 66 south – OsarizawaInterchange
119.174.0 National Route 285 west – Akita, Kitaakita, Odate–Noshiro AirportSouthern end of unsigned National Route 285 concurrency
126.278.4Akita Prefecture Route 102 – Hinai, Central Ōdate
127.579.2 Akita Expressway – Kitaakita, Hirosaki, Odate–Noshiro AirportE7 exit 26 (Ōdate-minami Interchange)
130.080.8 National Route 7 – Noshiro, Kitaakita, Odate–Noshiro Airport, Central ŌdateSouthern terminus; western terminus of unsigned National Route 104
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ "八甲田"雪の回廊と温泉"ウォーク/八甲田・十和田ゴールドライン開通" [Hakkoda "Snow Corridor and Onsen" walk / Hakkoda · Towada Gold Line Opening] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2019.