National Route 439: Conquer Shikoku’s toughest road! National Route 439 Touring│Tokushima/Kochi


What is Route 439?

National Route 439 is one of the national highways that runs through the Shikoku region, connecting Tokushima Prefecture and Kochi Prefecture.

It connects Tokushima City in Tokushima Prefecture to Shimanto City in Kochi Prefecture.

National Route 439 is one of Japan’s three most difficult roads (the other two being National Route 418 and National Route 425), and there are many sections that pass through mountainous areas and there are many curves, so caution is required when driving.

Also, during rainy and snowy seasons, the road surface becomes slippery, so you need to be careful of slipping accidents.

The section of National Route 439 from Tokushima City to Tsurugiyama

National Route 439 overlaps with National Routes 192 and 438 in the section from Tokushima City to Tsurugiyama.

This section is relatively easy to access and has beautiful scenery, making it a worthwhile area for many touring enthusiasts to visit.

Mt. Tsurugi is one of the most beautiful mountains in the Shikoku region, and the surrounding area is dotted with spots where you can enjoy hiking and nature observation.

Details of Kyobashira Pass and its difficult spots

Speaking of National Route 439, there is a difficult point called Kyobashira Toge.
This section is closed during the winter and is considered so difficult that it has been described as a path through sheep intestines.

There are various dangerous elements to drive on, such as paved roads with peeling asphalt, defile roads with no guardrails, and curved roads with no visibility. But it’s the challenging environment that makes it so appealing to adventure-seeking riders.

About road width and improvement work

Most of National Route 439 is only wide enough for one passenger car, or about 2.5 meters. As a result, there are many sections where face-to-face traffic is difficult.

In addition, road improvements and disaster prevention works are being carried out, and road closures, weight restrictions, and width restrictions may be implemented.

You have to be careful about the road conditions, but there are beautiful landscapes and adventures ahead.


This road has a total length of 346.0 km, starting from Tokushima City, passing through Mt. Tsurugi, and ending at Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture, making it the second longest route among the national highways in Shikoku.

National Route 439 runs along the Shikoku Mountains, and there are many scenic spots and fun touring spots along the way.

There are many places worth visiting along this road, such as Mt. Tsurugi, Kyobashira Pass, Niyodogawa Town, and Shakushi Pass.

National Route 439 is also known as a rough road, with many unimproved roads and sections where two-way traffic is difficult.
However, these difficulties are the charm of touring, and have attracted many adventurous travelers.

Driving along National Route 439 while enjoying Shikoku’s beautiful nature and scenery is part of a great adventure. Visit the unexplored region of Shikoku and fully enjoy the charm of National Route 439.

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