Jōshin-etsu Expressway

Jōshin-etsu Expressway sign
Jōshin-etsu Expressway
Route information
Length204.9 km[2] (127.3 mi)
Major junctions
From Kan-etsu Expressway
Fujioka Junction in Fujioka, Gunma
To Hokuriku Expressway
Jōetsu Junction in Jōetsu, Niigata
Major citiesTomioka, Annaka, Saku, Komoro, Ueda, Chikuma, Nagano, Nakano, Myōkō
Highway system

The Jōshin-etsu Expressway (上信越自動車道, Jōshin-etsu Jidōsha-dō) is a national expressway in Japan. It is owned and operated by East Nippon Expressway Company.


Jōshin-etsu (上信越) is a kanji acronym consisting of 3 characters, each representing the former names of the prefectures that the route traverses. Kōzuke Province (野国) consists of present-day Gunma Prefecture, Shinano Province (濃国) consists of present-day Nagano Prefecture, and Echigo Province (後国) consists of present-day Niigata Prefecture.

Officially, the expressway is referred to as the Kan-Etsu Expressway Jōetsu Route. This designation consists of the entire Jōshin-etsu Expressway as well as the Kan-Etsu Expressway beyond Fujioka Junction to Nerima Interchange (concurrent with the Kan-Etsu Expressway Niigata Route).[3]

Route description

Expressway in Ueda, Nagano

The expressway begins at a junction with the Kan-Etsu Expressway in southern Gunma Prefecture and heads west, paralleling National Route 254 until Shimonita. From here the route branches north, passing Mount Myōgi, then heads west once more from Annaka. The route parallels National Route 18 from this point until the terminus. The expressway then follows a winding route through the mountainous area separating Gunma and Nagano Prefectures. From Saku, Nagano the route follows a northwesterly course, passing Mount Asama, until it reaches a junction with the Nagano Expressway near the city of Nagano. The route then heads north, following the east bank of the Chikuma River, before heading into the mountainous region separating Nagano and Niigata Prefectures. The expressway continues north through Niigata Prefecture, passing Mount Myōkō, and eventually terminating at a junction with the Hokuriku Expressway in Jōetsu near the Japan Sea coastline.

The expressway is 6 lanes from Fujioka Junction to Fujioka Interchange. The remaining section from Fujioka Interchange to Jōetsu Junction is 4 lanes, from 5 December 2019 according to E-NEXCO.[4]


The first section was completed in 1980 and the entire route was completed in 1999.[5] On the night of 16 December 2020, about 300 vehicles were trapped on the expressway after a truck blocked it off due to it becoming stuck in the snow. In response, the company that manages the route supplied drivers who were stuck on the road until the next morning.[6]

List of interchanges and features

No. Name Connections Dist. from
Dist. from
Bus Stop Notes Speed Limit Location
(9) Fujioka JCT Kan-etsu Expressway 0.0 204.9 80 km/h Fujioka Gunma
1/PA Fujioka IC/PA Pref. Route 13 (Maebashi Nagatoro Route) 1.8 203.1 Parking Area/Highway Oasis only accessible to Fujioka JCT-bound traffic
100 km/h
2 Yoshii IC Pref. Route 41 (Kanda Yoshii Teishajō Route) 11.2 193.7 Takasaki
PA Kanra PA 15.4 189.5 Kanra
3 Tomioka IC 20.1 184.8 Tomioka
4 Shimonita IC National Route 254 26.8 178.1 Shimonita
5 Matsuida-Myōgi ICMatsuida BS Pref. Route 51 (Matsuida Shimonita Route) 37.5 167.4 Annaka
80 km/h
SA Yokokawa SA 42.1 162.8
BR Usui Bridge
TN Takaiwayama Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,019m
Jōetsu-bound 1,070m
6 Usui-Karuizawa IC Pref. Route 92 (Matsuida Karuizawa Route) 52.5 152.4
CB Usui Chain Base
TN Ōyama Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,722m
Jōetsu-bound 1,625m
TN Nikkureyama Tunnel Fujioka-bound 2,314m
Jōetsu-bound 2,051m
TN Takatachi Tunnel Fujioka-bound 373m
TN Happūzan Tunnel Fujioka-bound 3,998m
Jōetsu-bound 4,471m
Saku Nagano
CB Kōsaka Chain Base
TN Akarusan Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,703m
Jōetsu-bound 1,960m
6-1/PA Sakudaira PA/SIC 68.4 136.5 Highway Oasis
7 Saku IC Pref. Route 9 (Saku Karuizawa Route) 71.3 133.6
7-1 Saku-Komoro JCT Chūbu-Ōdan Expressway 72.8 132.1 Komoro
BS Komoro-Kōgen BS 78.0 126.9
8 Komoro IC Pref. Route 79 (Komoro Ueda Route) 82.1 122.8
9/SA Tōbu-Yunomaru IC/SA Pref. Route 81 (Maruko Tōbu Inter Route) 88.6 116.3 Tōmi
10 Ueda-Sugadaira IC National Route 144 96.9 108.0 Ueda
TN Tarōyama Tunnel Fujioka-bound 4,264m
Jōetsu-bound 4,303m
11 Sakaki IC Pref. Route 91 (Sakaki Inter Route) 104.8 100.1
PA Chikumagawa-Sakaki PA 106.2 98.7
TN Gorigamine Tunnel Fujioka-bound 4,518m
Jōetsu-bound 4,474m
TN Mori Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,421m
Jōetsu-bound 1,450m
BS Yashiro BS 117.1 87.8
12 Kōshoku JCT Nagano Expressway 119.1 85.8
100 km/h
TN Yakushiyama Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,212m
Jōetsu-bound 1,181m
PA Matsushiro PA 123.2 81.7
13 Nagano IC Pref. Route 35 (Nagano Sanada Route) 125.1 79.8
BS Wakaho BS 130.2 74.7
14 Suzaka-Naganohigashi IC National Route 403 135.0 69.9
BS Suzaka BS 137.5 67.4
14-1/PA Obuse PA/SIC Pref. Route 343 (Murayama Obuse Teishajō Route) 141.6 63.3 Highway Oasis Obuse
BS Obuse BS 143.2 61.7
15 Shinshū-Nakano IC Pref. Route 29 (Nakano Toyono Route) 146.5 58.4 Nakano
80 km/h
BS Nakano BS 147.2 57.7
BR Kita-Chikumagawa Bridge Length - 370m
Chikuma River crossing
CB Kaesa Chain Base
16 Toyota-Iiyama IC National Route 117 154.2 50.7
70 km/h
BS Toyota BS 155.0 49.9
TN Nagae Tunnel
TN Samizu Tunnel Fujioka-bound 1,415m
Jōetsu-bound 1,441m
TN Yakushidake Tunnel Fujioka-bound 2,320m
Jōetsu-bound 2,362m
PA Kurohime-Nojiriko PA 164.3 40.6
BS Kashiwabara BS 166.2 38.7
17 Shinanomachi IC National Route 18 (Nojiri Bypass) 167.4 37.5
BR Reimei Bridge Length - 370m
Seki River crossing
Myōkō Niigata
18 Myōkōkōgen IC National Route 18 (Myōkō Nojiri Bypass)
Pref. Route 187 (Ikenotaira Myōkōkōgen Route)
172.5 32.4
BS Myōkōkōgen BS X Bus Stop closed
SA Myōkō SA 179.9 25.0 X Bus Stop closed
19 Nakagō IC National Route 18 (Jōshin Bypass) 184.5 20.4 Jōetsu
BS Nakagō-kita BS X Bus Stop closed
19-1/PA Arai PA/SIC Pref. Route 428 (Nishinoyashinden Arai Route) 191.9 13.0 X Highway Oasis
Bus Stop closed
TN Kannondaira Tunnel Length - 1,502m
20 Jōetsu-Takada IC Pref. Route 85 (Jōetsu-Takada Inter Route) 199.0 5.9 Jōetsu
(31-1) Jōetsu JCT Hokuriku Expressway 204.9 0.0

There are also 2 snow chain changing areas between Toyota-Iiyama Interchange and Kurohime-Nojiriko Parking Area, and 1 area between Sakaki Interchange and Ueda-Sugadaira Interchange (Fujioka-bound only).


  1. ^ "Expressway Opening Dates". Retrieved 16 April 2008.
  2. ^ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Kanto Regional Development Bureau. "Road Timetable". Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. "High Standard Trunk Road Map" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  4. ^ "E-NEXCO Opening Schedule". Retrieved 15 April 2008.
  5. ^ Japan Civil Engineering Contractors Association. "Construction History of Japan, 1999". Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
  6. ^ Kyodo (17 December 2020). "Thousand vehicles stranded, 10,000 without electricity after heavy snowfall". The Japan Times. Retrieved 18 December 2020.

External links

  • (in Japanese) East Nippon Expressway Company
  • (in Japanese) JAF Drive Map

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