Japan National Route 119

National Route 119 (国道119号, Kokudō Hyakujūkyū-gō) is a national highway located entirely within Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It connects the city of Nikkō to Utsunomiya, the prefecture's capital, and has a total length of 63.9 kilometers (39.7 mi). The present-day highway largely follows the path of the Nikkō Kaidō, an Edo period road that linked Edo and the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō.

National Route 119 shield
National Route 119
National Route 119 highlighted in red
Route information
Length39.4 km[1] (24.5 mi)
Major junctions
West end National Route 120 / National Route 122 / Tochigi Prefecture Route 247 in Nikkō
East end National Route 4 in Utsunomiya
Highway system
National Route 118 National Route 120

Route descriptionEdit

A stretch of National Route 119 along the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō.

The designation of National Route 119 applies to two highways. The first highway to carry the designation almost entirely follows the original Nikkō Kaidō from National Route 120 and National Route 122 at Rinnō-ji in Nikkō to a junction with National Route 4 to the south of central Utsunomiya. The second highway follows the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road from Nikko Interchange to its eastern terminus at the Tōhoku Expressway. The two highways have a total length of 63.9 kilometers (39.7 mi).[1]

Nikkō Kaidō routeEdit

The highway that follows the original routing of the Nikkō Kaidō has a total length of 39.4 kilometers (24.5 mi).[2] This routing of National Route 119 makes up the Nikkō–Utsunomiya leg of the scenic Japan Romantic Road that stretches across Tochigi and Nagano prefectures.[3] The highway was deemed by Guinness World Records to be a part of what the organization called the world's longest tree-lined avenue, the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō.[4][5]

The highway begins at a junction near Rinnō-ji with National Routes 120 and 122 and Tochigi Prefecture Route 247 in Nikkō. From there it travels southwest through the central district of the city, where it begins running parallel with the Tōbu Nikkō Line and the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road. Within the former city of Imaichi, the highway has junctions with National Routes 121, 352, and 461—sharing a brief concurrency with the former two of the three routes. Crossing into Utsunomiya, the highway begins gradually curving to the south still paralleling the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road, but moving away from the Tōbu Nikkō Line.[2]

In northwestern Utsunomiya, the highway has a junction with National Route 293. Further south, the highway passes beneath, but does not connect directly to, the Tōhoku Expressway. It instead intersects with the Utsunomiya-kita Road, and auxiliary route of National Route 119 that has a junction with the expressway, just to the south of that underpass. The Utsunomiya-kita Road and National Route 119 run parallel to one another for a short distance before they intersect with the Utsunomiya Ring Road, there the auxiliary route curves to the east towards its end while the main route continues south towards central Utsunomiya. In central Utsunomiya the highway zigzags its way south past several key locations, such as the city hall, the Tochigi Prefecture Office, and Tōbu-Utsunomiya Station before coming to an end just under two kilometers south at a junction with National Route 4.[6][2]

Nikkō Utsunomiya RoadEdit

The part of the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road designated as National Route 119 has a total length of 24.5 kilometers (15.2 mi).[7] The highway is designated for motor vehicles with a displacement of at least 125 cc. The design standard of the road is similar to most national expressways in Japan. The road has four lanes on the section designated as a part of National Route 119 and a speed limit of 80 km/h.[8]


Much of what is presently National Route 119 was preceded by the northernmost section of the Nikkō Kaidō, a road established by the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period. It connected Edo and the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō. Secondary National Route 119 was established by the Cabinet of Japan between of Nikkō and Utsunomiya in 1953 along pre-existing roads, mostly made up of the section of the Nikkō Kaidō between the two municipalities.[9] In 1963, the Cabinet of Japan amended the highway's designation, upgrading it from its secondary status to a full national highway.[10]

In 1988 an ordinance was put in place along the Nikkō Kaidō that forbade any new installation of large advertisements along tree-lined sections of the road.[11] On 16 May 2018 a section of the highway was rerouted to protect the Cedar Avenue of Nikkō, a protected tree-lined section of the original Nikkō Kaidō that was being degraded by the heavy automobile traffic of the national highway.[12]

Major intersectionsEdit

The route lies entirely within Tochigi Prefecture. For the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road section of National Route 119, see the junction list of that article.

Nikkō0.00.0   National Route 120 west / National Route 122 south – Lake Chūzenji, Numata
Tochigi Prefecture Route 247 east
Western terminus
1.40.87Tochigi Prefecture Route 169 north – Kuriyama, Kirifugi Highland
1.50.93Tochigi Prefecture Route 14 south
1.71.1Tochigi Prefecture Route 203 north – Nikkō Station
8.05.0   National Route 121 north / National Route 352 west – Kawaji, KinugawaWestern end of concurrency with National Routes 121 and 352
8.45.2Tochigi Prefecture Route 62 east – Shimo-Imaichi Station
Tochigi Prefecture Route 229 south – Imaichi Station
8.55.3   National Route 121 south / National Route 352 east – KanumaEastern end of concurrency with National Routes 121 and 352
9.86.1  National Route 461 east – Kinugawa, Yaita
11.37.0   National Route 121 south (Itabashi Bypass) – to Nikkō Utsunomiya Road, Kanuma
14.08.7Tochigi Prefecture Route 279 north – Kinugawa, Ōkuwa
15.89.8  Tochigi Prefecture Route 110 west – to Nikkō Utsunomiya Road, Shimotsuke-Ōsawa Station
16.310.1Tochigi Prefecture Route 22 south – Inokura
16.910.5Tochigi Prefecture Route 295 north – Imaichi Youth Sports Center
Utsunomiya21.913.6Tochigi Prefecture Route 149 west – Fubasami
22.914.2Tochigi Prefecture Route 77 north – Funyu
25.415.8  National Route 293 – Kanuma, Sakura
28.317.6     National Route 119 (Utsunomiya-kita Road) – to Tōhoku Expressway, Nikkō Utsunomiya Road, National Route 4, Oyama, TochigiInterchange
32.320.1   Tochigi Prefecture Route 3 / Tochigi Prefecture Route 157 east (Utsunomiya Ring Road) – to National Route 4, Utsunomiya-kita Road, Sakura, Tochigi, Kanuma
35.422.0  Kiyosumichichō-dōri – to National Route 4
35.622.1Tochigi Prefecture Route 22 north
36.622.7  Tochigi Prefecture Route 2 south – to Tōhoku Expressway, Tochigi
  Tochigi Prefecture Route 70 west – to National Route 293, Ōya
36.822.9  Tochigi Prefecture Route 10 east – Utsunomiya Station, Tochigi Prefecture Office
39.424.5  National Route 4 (Utsunomiya Bypass) – Koga, Oyama, Nasushiobara, SakuraEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routesEdit

Utsunomiya-kita RoadEdit

The Utsunomiya-kita Road near its western terminus.

The Utsunomiya-kita Road [ja] forms the northern section of the Utsunomiya Ring Road, and as an auxiliary route of National Route 119, it has the function of bypassing the narrow Nikkō Kaidō and connecting National Route 4 with the Nikkō Kaidō without passing through the central district of Utsunomiya. Its western terminus is Utsunomiya Interchange where it continues west towards Nikkō as the Nikkō Utsunomiya Road and its eastern terminus is at National Route 4 in the northeastern part of Utsunomiya. Before the opening of the Utsunomiya-kita Road in 1972, vehicles passing from National Route 119 to the southeastern part of the prefecture and Ibaraki prefecture had to go through the center of Utsunomiya, which caused heavy traffic. The opening of the bypass reduced traffic in central Utsunomiya.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Google (13 April 2021). "Route 119 (1)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Japan Romantic Road". japan-guide.com. 13 May 2020. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Longest avenue of trees". Guinness World Records. 2021. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  5. ^ "日光杉並木" [Cedar Avenue of Nikkō] (in Japanese). National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan [ja]. 25 June 2019. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  6. ^ "一般国道119号改築工事" [General National Highway 119 reconstruction work] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 15 November 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  7. ^ Google (13 April 2021). "Route 119 (1)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  8. ^ "道路デザイン指針(仮称)検討委員会 第5回委員会、第 11 回幹事会" [Road Design Guidelines (tentative name) Review Committee 5th Committee, 11th Executive Committee] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  9. ^ "一般国道の路線を指定する政令" [Cabinet Order Designating General National Routes] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2021 – via Wikisource.
  10. ^ "一級国道の路線を指定する政令" [Cabinet Order Designating General National Routes]. Act of 1962 (in Japanese). Cabinet of Japan. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2021 – via Wikisource.
  11. ^ "国道119号線(日光街道)桜並木敷沿道の屋外広告物規制について" [About the regulation of outdoor advertisements along the cherry blossom trees along National Route 119 (Nikkō Kaidō)] (PDF) (in Japanese). City of Utsunomiya. April 1996. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  12. ^ "国道119号 旧道(日光街道)日光市七本桜地内 通行止め位置図" [National Route 119 old road (Nikkō Kaidō) Nikkō seven cherry blossoms area closed road map] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tochigi Prefecture. 26 April 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  13. ^ "一般国道119号 宇都宮環状北道路 宇都宮市" [General National Route 119 Utsunomiya Ring Road Utsunomiya] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tochigi Prefecture. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2021.

External linksEdit