“One of the most scenic drives within the Tokyo-Yokohama area, and one that makes for a most pleasant weekend, is the journey around the Five Lakes at the base of Mt. Fuji, and on a clear day, the scenery is unsurpassed anywhere in the world.
“… The drive begins with a charming scene as you travel above the Gohra Gorge and look down several hundred feet to the raging mountain stream below … At the bridge, you will start to travel on a gravel and dirt road, which is very good but somewhat narrow. Just prior to reaching Sengoku Golf Course, you will begin to climb up into Nagao Pass. Going up through the Pass, you will notice a series of terraced rice paddies in the valley below and to you left, with stone retaining walls which are quite unique, and bubbling along beside is a crystal-clear mountain stream abounding with trout.
“You climb to the top of Nagao Pass by a very narrow winding road which is quite good but necessitates cautious and sensible driving. This Pass is also known as Long Tail Pass [na-ga-o], and at its summit you are at a height of 2,962 feet. An exceptional view of Mount Fuji, from base to summit, can be seen on a clear day, as well as sparkling Lake Hakone off to your left in the distance.
“From the top of the Pass, you will wend you way down through a tree-covered mountain lane into the town of Gotemba at the foot of Mt. Fuji.”
– Motoring in Japan, by Bob Frew, 1955