A staircase highway?! Japan’s only national highway inaccessible to cars
National Route 339 on Cape Tappi, the northernmost point of the Tsugaru Peninsula, is Japan’s only “staircase highway.” Despite being a national highway, it is unusual for the fact that it is inaccessible to cars and motorcycles and only open to pedestrians. The blue triangular highway marker at the entrance to the staircase makes for a very surreal sight.
There are various theories as to why this staircase was designated as part of a national highway. One is that the staircase section was originally included in the plans for road construction, but improvement was hampered by the elevation difference of 70 meters and the high concentration of houses. Thus, the staircase remains in its current state.
Starting at Tappi Fishing Port at the foot of the cape and ending at Tappizaki Lighthouse, the 362-step staircase has a total length of 388.2 meters and an elevation change of about 70 meters. Although it is a fairly tough climb, there are benches along the way where you can catch your breath. The scenic ascent gives you a taste of adventure while feeling the breeze off the Tsugaru Strait. If you feel up for the climb, why not give it a try?
- Telephone Number
- Closed for a period in winter
- A short walk from the Tappizaki Lighthouse bus stop via bus from Minmaya Station on the JR Tsugaru Line
- See trip advisor
- Free Wi-Fi
- Tax Free
- Parking Lot
- Face Masks