I was driving yesterday with my friend Erika up in the mountains. We were about an hour and a half Northwest of my town in a place called Urabandai and planned to drive over a mountain pass into a tiny little town in Yamagata renowned for hot springs and beef. But lo and behold, they closed the road down for the winter!
Had Erika not been there, I would have tried to drive it anyway, as there was simply a sign saying it was closed and a half hearted attempt at a road block that could have been driven around by anyone.
Seriously though, what's the point in going to the trouble of building a road if you aren't going to plow it in the wintertime? And if so few people use it that it isn't even worth plowing, why was it even built in the first place? These and many other questions I may never find answers to as long as I live in Japan.
There are a number of other routes that criss-cross the mountains in my area, all toll roads (the one I wanted to use yesterday was free) and they all close down in the wintertime.