Hanase-toge Pass (a pass on a national route in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City) (花脊峠)
It is the pass located on National Route 477 at an altitude of 769 meters. It is the highest pass on the very long National Route 477, which connects Mie Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture with taking the route inland of Kii-hanto Peninsula. There are various views on the origin of its name 'Hanase' (flower back): some is that the pass was called 'Hana no se' (the back covered with flowers) as it runs through the heart of Mt. Kita which have been famous for beautiful flowers, others is that the pass is located at so-called north backbone of Kyoto which was 'Hana-no-miyako' (the capital city flourishing), and so on.
Hanase-toge is usually written as '花背峠,' however originally it had been written as '花脊峠.'
Incidentally, On the north side of the pass is Hanase-bessho-cho, on the south side is Kurama-honmachi.
Features of the pass
Vehicles can run through the pass which has the wide road with more than two lanes wide, with no centerline. The pass is not closed in the winter, however the road become narrower when the snow is heaped up. Kyoto Bus runs through the pass where bus stop called 'Hanase-toge' is located and is used by mainly climbers. It is the steep slope zone called 'kokudo' (a deplorable road) including Momoi-wakare curve at the foot and Tsukumo-ore curve and so on.