Japan National Route 339

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National Route 339 shield

National Route 339
Japan National Route 339 highlighted in red
Route information
Length108.4 km[1] (67.4 mi)
Existed1 April 1975–present
Major junctions
South end National Route 7
in Hirosaki
North end National Route 280
in Sotogahama
Highway system
National highways of Japan
Expressways of Japan
Japanese National Route Sign 0338.svg National Route 338Japanese National Route Sign 0340.svg National Route 340

National Route 339 (国道339号, Kokudō Sanbyaku san-jukyūgō) is a national highway of Japan that traverses the western side of Aomori Prefecture, traveling south to north. The 108.4-kilometer (67.4 mi) highway begins as a concurrent route with National Route 7 in central Hirosaki, it then leaves National Route 7 in Fujisaki and travels north through the municipalities of Itayanagi, Tsuruta, Goshogawara, and Nakadomari before ending at an intersection with National Route 280 in Sotogahama. In a unique feature, a 0.4-kilometer-long (0.25 mi) section of the route on Cape Tappi is a staircase.

Route description[edit]

National Route 339 has a section of highway on Cape Tappi that is a staircase.

National Route 339 begins as a concurrent route with National Route 7 in central Hirosaki, northeast of Undōkōenmae Station. Shortly after, the highway has an interchange with National Routes 102, 394, and Aomori Route 109. After passing through the city and entering the town of Fujisaki, it leaves National Route 7 and turns northwest, paralleling the downstream path of the Iwaki River. In Itayanagi, the route curves to the north again, heading directly towards central Goshogawara. After entering Goshogawara, the highway intersects National Route 101. The two highways parallel one another in central Goshogawara before diverging, Route 101 turns west and Route 339 curves northeast. North of the central district of Goshogawara, the highway connects to the Tsugaru Expressway, a limited-access bypass of the city, at Goshogawara-kita Interchange.

Continuing north, the highway begins its journey across to the Tsugaru Peninsula to Cape Tappi at its northern tip. In the former town of Kanagi, the highway draws closer to the parallel Tsugaru Railway. They parallel one another, crossing out of Goshogawara, until they reach central Nakadomari, where the railway terminates while the highway continues north out of the town. Upon leaving Nakadomari the first time, the highway re-enters Goshogawara and curves northwest along the northern shore of Lake Jūsan. Eventually the route arrives at the Sea of Japan coast of the peninsula, it curves north here and eventually enters Nakadomari once again. As the highway approaches Cape Tappi, it winds its way across the western Tsugaru Mountains into the former town of Minmaya (now part of Sotogahama); due to the sharp curves and rapid changes in elevation, this section of the highway is closed during the winter when weather conditions would make the feature impassable.[2] At Cape Tappi, a 338.2-meter-long (1,110 ft) section of the highway is a staircase made up of 362 stairs, the only one of its kind among the national highways of Japan. This section of the highway is open only to pedestrian traffic and is subject to closure in the winter.[3] After the staircase section ends, the highway continues southeast away from the cape along the coast of the Tsugaru Strait. The route terminates at an intersection with National Route 280, just short of Sotogahama's border with Imabetsu.[4]


The staircase at Cape Tappi was built as a joint effort between local people and the Japan Self-Defense Forces. When the national government was looking for local roads to incorporate into the planned National Route 339, the stairs were left in place and designated as part of the proposed highway because a normal road would be too steep and narrow.[5] National Route 339 was established by the Cabinet of Japan in 1975 along the stairway and other local roads between Hirosaki and then-extant Minamaya (now part of Sotogahama).[6] On 18 July 2018, a 1.5-kilometer (0.93 mi) section of the highway was realigned just north of central Goshogawara as a measure to improve its level of safety and its access to the Tsugaru Expressway. This section is referred to as the Goshogawara-kita Bypass.[7]

Major junctions[edit]

The route lies entirely within Aomori Prefecture.

Hirosaki0.00.0 National Route 7 southSouthern terminus
0.50.31E4 National Route 102 east / National Route 394 north – Lake Towada, Kuroishi, Tōhoku Expressway, Inakadate
Aomori Prefecture Route 109 west – Central Hirosaki, Hirosaki Castle
Interchange; western terminus of National Route 102, southern terminus of National Route 394
2.11.3Aomori Prefecture Route 3 west – Central Hirosaki
Akita Prefecture Route 268 east – Kuroishi
3.62.2Kita-Ōdori – Central Hirosaki, Hirosaki Castle, NaijoshiInterchange
4.32.7Aomori Prefecture Route 41 east – NaijoshiSouthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 41 concurrency
5.83.6Aomori Prefecture Route 41 west – AjigasawaNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 41 concurrency
6.44.0Aomori Prefecture Route 260 south
Fujisaki7.04.3 National Route 7 north – Towada, AomoriNorthern end of National Route 7 concurrency
7.74.8Aomori Prefecture Route 239 east – Fujisaki Station
7.94.9Aomori Prefecture Route 131 – Maesaka, Kita-Tokiwa Station
Itayanagi13.98.6Aomori Prefecture Route 35 south – Hirosaki
Aomori Prefecture Route 125 east – Itayanagi Town Office, Itayanagi Station
Southern end of Aomori Prefecture Routes 35 and 125 concurrency
14.48.9Aomori Prefecture Route 35 north – Aomori, NamiokaNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 35 concurrency
16.610.3Aomori Prefecture Route 125 west – Kashiwa, Hirosaki (Otomo)Northern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 35 concurrency
Tsuruta20.112.5Aomori Prefecture Route 200 west – Mawarizeki
Aomori Prefecture Route 240 east – Kurumidate
22.113.7Aomori Prefecture Route 153 west – Morita
23.114.4Aomori Prefecture Route 150 – Mutsu-Tsuruda Station
24.615.3Aomori Prefecture Route 158 south
25.015.5NR339 Aomori Prefecture Route 159 north – to National Route 339 Bypass, Tappi
Goshogawara27.417.0 National Route 101 – Ajigasawa, Aomori
27.917.3E64 Aomori Prefecture Route 156 – to Tsugaru Expressway, Ajigasawa
28.918.0Aomori Prefecture Route 252 east – Goshogawara Station
30.018.6 National Route 339 south (Bypass) – Hirosaki
Former National Route 339 north – Goshosgawara (Kanagi), Osamu Dazai Memorial Museum
31.019.3E4NR7 Tsugaru Expressway – to Tōhoku Expressway, National Route 7, Aomori, Senjōjiki, AjigasawaGoshogawara-kita Interchange
32.019.9Aomori Prefecture Route 163 – Iizume, Tsugaru (Inagaki)
34.821.6Former National Route 339 south
36.222.5Aomori Prefecture Route 36 south – Kase Station
39.324.4Aomori Prefecture Route 2 east – Aomori
40.024.9Aomori Prefecture Route 2 – Shariki, Inagaki, Kanagi Station
Nakadomari44.527.7Aomori Prefecture Route 102 west – Ōzawanai Station
44.827.8Aomori Prefecture Route 103 north – Fukōda Station
46.128.6Aomori Prefecture Route 197 south – Fukuura
52.532.6Aomori Prefecture Route 189 west – Shariki (Tomiyachi)
55.534.5 Aomori Prefecture Route 12 north – to Okutsugaru-Imabetsu Station, Imabetsu, SotogahamaSouthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 12 concurrency
Goshogawara66.241.1Aomori Prefecture Route 12 south – Ajigasawa, Lake JūsanNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 12 concurrency
Nakadomari74.146.0Aomori Prefecture Route 111 west – Kodomari Fishing PortNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 12 concurrency
76.347.4Aomori Prefecture Route 286 east – Kodomari DamNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 12 concurrency
Sotogahama96.359.8Aomori Prefecture Route 281 (Ajisai Road) east – Minmaya StationNorthern end of Aomori Prefecture Route 12 concurrency
National Route 339 (Kaidan-kokudō stairs)Only pedestrian traffic is allowed
108.467.4 National Route 280 – Aomori, Imabetsu
Aomori Prefecture Route 230 east – Minmaya Station
Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "一般国道の路線別、都道府県別道路現況" [Road statistics by General National Highway route and prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ "雪道安全マップ2019~2020" [Snowy Road Safety Map 2019-2020] (PDF) (in Japanese). 2019–2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  3. ^ Preston Phro (25 July 2013). "National Highway 339: The only staircase highway in Japan". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  4. ^ Google (12 February 2020). "Route 339" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  5. ^ "国道339号、日本唯一の「階段国道」 観光名所に" [National Route 339, Japan's only "Stairway National Road" now a Tourist Attraction] (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  6. ^ "一般国道の路線を指定する政令" [Cabinet Order Designating General National Routes]. Act of 1965 (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 October 2019 – via Wikisource.
  7. ^ "国道339号【五所川原北バイパス】開通のお知らせ" [Announcement of the opening of National Route 339 [Goshogawara-kita Bypass]] (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 February 2020.

External links[edit]