Visit this unusual site and you can say you’ve been to three prefectures in a day.

If you’re like us and love exploring parts of Japan that few tourists know about, today’s adventure will be right up your alley.

Today, we’re heading out to the “Boundary of Three Prefectures“, which marks the spot where three prefectures meet. Around 40 of these three-point borders are said to exist around Japan, but most of them are located in inaccessible spots like mountains and rivers, so this particular boundary is a unique one well worth visiting.

The Boundary of Three Prefectures marks the junction of Tochigi, Gunma, and Saitama prefectures, and though you can approach the site from any of these areas, we recommend Michi no Eki (“Road Station”) Kazowatase in Saitama as the best spot to start from as it has parking, rest rooms and shops and it’s only 450 metres (0.28 miles) from the boundary.

▼ Michi no Eki Kazowatase

Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma will be your guide today, although he’s not as professional as most, seeing as he arrived here at 5:30 p.m., half an hour after the facility closed for the day. Still, the Boundary of Three Prefectures has no closing time — it’s accessible 24/7 every day of the week — so he stopped off at the commemorative signboard and snapped a photo before casually making his way there.

▼ The three photos in the circles (left to right) show scenes from Gunma’s Itakura Town, Saitama’s Kazo City, Tochigi’s Tochigi City, which meet at the boundary point.

Following the signs, the Boundary of Three Prefectures looked to be down a set of stairs and 450 meters away.

For some reason, Masanuki thought the juncture would be on the grounds of the Michi no Eki, but as he descended the stairs, he realised he was leaving the parking lot and heading out into the countryside.

It started to rain a little, so Masanuki picked up the pace and broke into a slight sprint, keeping an eye out for signs pointing him in the right direction along the way.

▼ Turn right in 150 metres

▼ Turn right here

After turning right, Masanuki jogged for around 250 meters and couldn’t help but smile when he saw this handwritten sign that read:

“Welcome! The Boundary of Three Prefectures is just ahead. This is Tochigi Prefecture.”

▼ And just beside the building was this sign, leading the way to the entrance to the boundary.

The path here extended like a red carpet, guiding Masanuki to the site he’d just jogged in the rain for. The paved walkway that lay ahead showed the care that had been taken in making the site accessible to everyone, and it didn’t take long for Masanuki to arrive at…

▼ …the Boundary of Three Prefectures!

Originally, Masanuki had planned to just look at the site and snap a few photos for us before walking away. However, now that he’d arrived, he felt a sense of accomplishment rising within him, so he decided to interact with the site a little more, showing us what the scenery looked like in all three directions.

▼ Tochigi Prefecture

▼ Gunma Prefecture

▼ Saitama Prefecture

Strangely, each prefecture looked slightly different from this point, which is something Masanuki hadn’t expected.

▼ This handwritten sign gives you an overview of the prefectural boundary.

▼ In the middle of the boundary is a brass plate on a block of cement that marks the centre of the junction.

On the plate are the words “Boundary of Three Prefectures“, along with the the latitude and longitude of the location and the names of Saitama’s Kazo City, Tochigi’s Tochigi City, and Gunma’s Itakura Town.

▼ The original brass plate was stolen in an unsolved mystery that occurred in August last year.

Before leaving the site, Masanuki couldn’t resist taking a quick tour of each prefecture, jumping through each one to commemorate his visit.

The rain was begin to spit harder now, so Masanuki grabbed his camera and bid a fond farewell to Gunma and Tochigi, before jogging back to the Michi no Eki in Saitama.

It was a fun day out, and Masanuki had the tourist site all to himself while he was there. He highly recommends visiting the unusual three-way boundary if you can, and you can always stop off and pump some hot spring water at this special D.I.Y. onsen stand in Saitama while you’re there.

Location information
Michi no Eki Kazo Watarase / 道の駅かぞわたらせ
Address: Saitama-ken, Kazo-shi, Onofukuro 1745-1
Open: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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[ Read in Japanese ]