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National Route 4 (国道4号, Kokudō Yongō) is a major national highway in eastern Honshū, Japan. It has the longest main line of any highway in Japan at 743.6 km (462.1 mi). With extensions included, it is the second longest highway in Japan 854.9 km (531.2 mi) after National Route 58, which is 884.4 km (549.5 mi) long because of its maritime sections.[1] The highway connects Tokyo and Aomori via Utsunomiya, Kōriyama and Morioka.

National Route 4 shield

National Route 4
Kokudō Yongō (国道4号)
Route information
Length743.6 km (462.1 mi)
ExistedApril 1, 1965–present
Major junctions
South end National Route 1 / National Route 15 / National Route 20 in Nihonbashi, Chūō-ku, Tokyo
North end National Route 7- Aomori West Bypass in Nagashima, Aomori, Aomori
Highway system
National highways of Japan
Expressways of Japan
National Route 3National Route 5

From Saitama Prefecture to Iwate Prefecture, it parallels the Tōhoku Expressway; from Morioka to Hachinohe, it parallels the Hachinohe Expressway. At its northern terminus it links with National Route 7.[2]


Route dataEdit

Municipalities it passes throughEdit


Illustration of the Ōshū Kaidō as it appeared during the Edo period

The initial precursor to National Route 4 was initially established during the Asuka period as the Tōsandō, a road linking Kinai (now Kyoto and Nara) to what is now the vicinity of Morioka, Iwate. The portion of the Tōsandō that was later incorporated into Route 4 lies between Tochigi Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture.[3] The next development of the route came along with the creation of the Ōshū Kaidō (奥州街道) and Nikkō Kaidō (日光街道) as two of the five routes of the Edo period. They were established by Tokugawa Ieyasu for government officials traveling through the area to connect Edo (modern-day Tokyo) with Mutsu Province and the present-day city of Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. There were also many roads that connected to the Ōshū Kaidō that are included in National Route 4. One such sub-route was the Sendaidō (仙台道), which connected Mutsu Province with Sendai. From Sendai, the Matsumaedō (松前道) connected Sendai with Cape Tappi and indirectly– Hakodate, Hokkaidō. Though the Ōshū Kaidō has only 27 post stations, there were over 100 designated post stations when the subroutes are included.[4] Some sections and markers of the Ōshū Kaidō in their original state can still be found alongside National Route 4, the Hachinohe Expressway, and Tōhoku Expressway.[5]

On December 4, 1952 First Class National Highway 4 (from Tokyo to Aomori) was established. The route was reclassified as a General National Highway on April 1, 1965.

During the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake many sections of the route were damaged in the Tōhoku area.[6]

Nihonbashi in Tokyo
0 km post of Japanese Roads in Tokyo
Intersection with Meiji-dōri Avenue
Minowa Intersection
This marker denotes the northern terminus of Japan National Route 4 in Aomori.

Junction listEdit

    National Route 1 / National Route 15 / National Route 20 at Nihonbashi in Chūō (northern end of concurrency with     National Route 6 / National Route 14 / National Route 17)
  National Route 17 in Chūō (southern end of concurrency with   National Route 17)
   National Route 6 / National Route 14 in Chūō (southern end of concurrency with    National Route 6 / National Route 14)
  Inner Circular Route Ueno Branch (Shuto Expressway) (Honchō Entrance) in Chiyoda
  Inner Circular Route Ueno Branch (Shuto Expressway) (Iriya Entrance) in Taitō
  Central Circular Route (Shuto Expressway) (Senjushinbashi Entrance) in Adachi
Saitama Prefecture
    National Route 298 indirect access to Tokyo Gaikan Expressway (Sōka Interchange) in Sōka
  National Route 463 in Koshigaya
  National Route 16 in Kasukabe
  National Route 125 in Kuki (southern end of concurrency with   National Route 125)
Ibaraki Prefecture
  National Route 354 in Koga
  National Route 125 in Koga (northern end of concurrency with   National Route 115)
Tochigi Prefecture
  National Route 50 in Oyama
  National Route 352 in Shimotsuke
  Kita-Kantō Expressway (Utsunomiya-Kaminokawa Interchange) in Utsunomiya
  National Route 121 in Utsunomiya
  National Route 119 in Utsunomiya
  National Route 123 in Utsunomiya
  National Route 119 in Utsunomiya
  National Route 408 in Takanezawa
  National Route 293 in Sakura
  Tōhoku Expressway (Yaita Interchange) in Yaita
  National Route 461 in Yaita
  National Route 461 in Ōtawara
  National Route 400 in Nasushiobara
Fukushima Prefecture
  Tōhoku Expressway (Shirakawa Interchange) in Nishigō
  National Route 289 in Shirakawa
  National Route 294 in Shirakawa
    Tōhoku Expressway / Abukuma Kōgen Road (Yabuki Interchange) in Yabuki
  National Route 118 in Sukagawa
  National Route 49 in Kōriyama
  National Route 288 in Kōriyama
  Tōhoku Expressway (Motomiya Interchange) in Motomiya
  National Route 459 in Nihonmatsu
  National Route 13 (Fukushima West Bypass) in Fukushima
  National Route 115 in Fukushima (southern end of concurrency with   National Route 115)
  National Route 13 in Fukushima
  National Route 114 in Fukushima
  National Route 115 in Fukushima (northern end of concurrency with   National Route 115)
  National Route 399 in Date
Miyagi Prefecture
  National Route 113 in Shiroishi
  National Route 457 in Shiroishi
  Tōhoku Expressway (Shiroishi Interchange) in Shiroishi
  National Route 349 in Shibata
  National Route 6 in Iwanuma
  Sendai-Nanbu Road (indirect connection to Nagamachi Interchange) in Taihaku-ku, Sendai
  National Route 347 in Taihaku-ku, Sendai
  National Route 45 in Miyagino-ku, Sendai (southern end of concurrency with   National Route 47)
  Tōhoku Expressway (Izumi Interchange) in Izumi-ku, Sendai
  Sendai-Hokubu Road (Tomiya Interchange) in Tomiya
  National Route 347 in Ōsaki
   National Route 47 / National Route 108 in Ōsaki (northern end of concurrency with   National Route 47)
  Tōhoku Expressway (Tsukidate Interchange) in Kurihara
  National Route 398 in Kurihara
Iwate Prefecture
   National Route 284 / National Route 457 in Ichinoseki
  National Route 342 in Ichinoseki
  Tōhoku Expressway (Hiraizumi-Maesawa Interchange) in Hiraizumi
  National Route 343 in Ōshū
  National Route 397 in Ōshū
  Tōhoku Expressway (Mizusawa Interchange) in Ōshū
  National Route 107 in Kitakami
  National Route 283 in Hanamaki
  Kamaishi Expressway (Hanamaki Airport Interchange) in Hanamaki
  National Route 46 in Morioka
  National Route 396 in Morioka
  National Route 106 in Morioka
  National Route 455 in Morioka
  National Route 282 in Takizawa
  Tōhoku Expressway (Takizawa Interchange) in Takizawa
  National Route 281 in Iwate
  Hachinohe Expressway (Ichinohe Interchange) in Ninohe
  National Route 395 in Ninohe
Aomori Prefecture
  National Route 104 in Sannohe
  National Route 104 in Nanbu
  National Route 454 in Gonohe
   National Route 45 / National Route 102 in Towada (southern end of concurrency with   National Route 45)
  National Route 394 in Shichinohe
  National Route 279 (Shimokita Expressway) (Noheji Interchange) in Noheji
  National Route 279 in Noheji
  National Route 7 in Aomori
  National Route 103 in Aomori
    National Route 7 (Aomori West Bypass) / National Route 101 / National Route 280 in Aomori (northern end of concurrency with   National Route 45)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Road Statistics Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  2. ^ 一般国道4号 (in Japanese). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Kanto Regional Development Bureau. Archived from the original on 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  3. ^ "Map of the Zenkoku Shichidō and Stations" (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. ^ Ōshū Kaidō Map. Yumekaidō. Accessed 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ "The Oshu Kaido in Iwate". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  6. ^ "東日本大震災における国道・高速道路の被害" (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 June 2019.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata

  Media related to Route 4 (Japan) at Wikimedia Commons