The mountain road we took starts out on a sealed road steadily climbing up to a mountain village where we saw a small carp farm and discovered a nice fresh water spring. In the village we also spotted the start of another mountain road we did not know about. Many of the small side roads are not marked on any of the maps and make exploring the area a challenge. Not far after the village the sealed road turns to gravel and with a steady gradient and several steep pitches makes a good workout on a single speed MTB, I am pleased to say my 33T - 16T gearing was perfect for this route allowing me to ride the entire route without walking at all.
After following the map carefully we finally crested the summit were the gravel ended and the sealed road started again, after a short rest and some food we headed downhill and were treated to fantastic views on the surrounding mountains. There was a small crew of workers clearing rocks from the road but overall it was pretty nice and not long before we reached a small mountain village marked on my map
At the mountain village on my map there was only one sealed road leading to the left so that is the road we ended up taking, in reality we should have cycled to the right through the village and taken the next road to the left instead.
The road we took to the left was fantastic but did not bring us down to Tsugawa instead we arrived in Tsunogami kohan on the other side of the mountain , bypassing a camp ground and onsen before coming out onto route 459 which then required a short 10 km ride around the river side back to Tsugawa station.
We rode to a nearby liquor store and bought a few beers and snacks for the train ride home. Overall it was not a long ride at all , maybe about 35km in total but one of the harder short rides of I have done this year. Now I need to make a better map before I head into the hills of Mikawa again !