Irohazaka road  

Irohazaka road

If you"ve ever wanted to learn written Japanese, a joy ride on this undulating road offers an unexpected tutorial. The hairpin turns in our photo are just a few of the 48 curves you"ll negotiate on your way up one part of Irohazaka road and down another—together they make a scenic loop in the highlands outside the city of Nikkō. That"s one switchback for each of the 48 hiragana symbols in an ancient Japanese writing system, with each marked by a sign showing one symbol. Not a bad visual aid for the still-learning visitor!

© LightRecords/Shutterstock

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