Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Take a journey to the past in Fukushima Prefecture’s Ouchi-juku area. This isolated village boasts thatched-roof houses and natural streets making you feel at one with the people wholived here hundreds of years ago. Nestled in the southwestern mountains of Fukushima, Ouchi-juku is a great spot to visit thanks to its unique charm and history.

This village was established under the post station system of the Edo period, and played a vital role as a rest stop for travelers. In 1981, the well-preserved streets of Ouchi-juku led to it being designated as an Important Preservation District for a Group of Traditional Buildings. It isn’t difficult to see why—the village looks as it did during its heyday. And with no telephone or electric wires above ground, the view from the top of the hill overlooking the village is marvelous. It is a picturesque village where you can lose yourself to the flow of time.

The traveler’s road that used to run through this village was called the Shimotsuke Kaido Route, or the Aizu Nishi Kaido Route. Ouchi-juku not only connected Aizu to Nikko, it also connected Aizu-Wakamatsu to Imaichi, a post town on the Nikko Kaido Route in Tochigi Prefecture. This road was frequented by many travelers as well as by the processions of feudal lords who had to travel to and from Edo periodically. Travelers of the Edo Period rested at the inns of Ouchi-juku to relieve their fatigue.

Nowadays, festivals and events help draw in new visitors. The annual Snow Festival in February turns Ouchi-juku into a pretty candlelit scene. Visit in July to see a procession of dancers dressed in traditional Edo Period costumes, and you might even get to wear a happi (festival attire jacket) and join the locals in their celebrations! And when you’re feeling hungry be sure to try some of the local specialties, which include negi soba (fresh buckwheat noodles eaten using a green onion), stick-roasted char fish, and more. There’s a little bit of everything at Ouchi-juku.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://ouchi-juku.com/(Automated translation available)
Contact

Ouchi-juku Tourism Association

(+81) 241-68-3611

Best SeasonAll Year
ParkingAvailable (Paid parking lot)
Entrance FeeFree
Accommodation details

Pets: Allowed

Access Details
AccessYamamoto, Ouchi, Shimogo Town, Minamiaizu District, Fukushima Pref. 969-5207
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 75 min from Shirakawa I.C. exit off the Tohoku Expressway. (Or 50 min from central Aizu-Wakamatsu City)

By Train: 15 min by taxi or bus from Yunokami Onsen Station

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    1. Food

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            1. Driving

              Must See Sights of Fukushima:Halal Friendly Model Route

              Including halal friendly information! This is a two-day model course by public transportation and rental car that takes you through breathtaking nature to the historic post town of Ouchi-juku and Tsurugajo Castle, home of the once mighty Aizu samurai clan! Information about halal restaurants and lodgings is available at the bottom of this page. From Tokyo to Fukushima, you can conveniently use the Shinkansen bullet train or the Tobu Liberty train that leaves from Asakusa station. From the terminus at Aizu Tajima Station, you can easily hire a cab that offers a full-day plan to get to the historic Ouchi-juku and nearby Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the first day, you will visit Ouchi-juku, where you can experience the historical charm of the Edo period, followed by the castle town of the former Aizu clan, Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the second day, get a taste for the rich nature of Tohoku. From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, you can rent a car and drive towards the Urabandai area. Goshiki-numa, located in Bandai Asahi National Park, is a beautiful natural park named after its five colored lakes and ponds, which appear to change colors depending on the light at different times or day and seasons. Hop into a rowboat and paddle around to admire the carp swimming around in the crystal-clear waters of the lake. There is a trail that takes you around the Goshiki-numa area, where you can appreciate the hues of the various ponds. If you happen to be visiting in the fall, you will be blown away by the spectacular array of autumn leaves in their stunning gradients of red and gold. Finally, be sure to go fruit picking so that you can taste the delicious flavors of Japanese fruits at the end of your trip. HALAL-friendly Restaurant ※Reservations required [Japanese Restaurant] Kissui Restaurant Aizu-Wakamatsu City "Halal / VG Requests OK / Reservations required" http://aizu-kissui.jp [Chinese Restaurant] Hotel Hamatsu / Shaga Chinese Restaurant Koriyama City https://www.hotel-hamatsu.co.jp HALAL-friendly accommodations ※Reservations required ・Yosikawaya Iizaka Onsen Ryokan http://www.yosikawaya.com/ ・Inawashiro Rising Sun Hotel (Villa Inawashiro) https://www.villa.co.jp/ ・Bandai Lakeside Guesthouse Kitashiobara Village https://www.bandai.ski/ Taxi ・Minamiaizu Kanko(Hire a Taxi for 2-hour or 4-hour flat rate plan) https://www-minamiaizu-co-jp.translate.goog/tour/index.php?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=ja Rent a Car ・Eki Rent-a-car https://www.ekiren.co.jp/phpapp/en/  

              Must See Sights of Fukushima:Halal Friendly Model Route

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Former Takizawa Honjin

This honjin served as a rest house used by daimyo lords when they traveled to Edo (Tokyo) as part of the Sankin-kōtai system of alternate attendance, or when they conducted inspection tours. During the Boshin War, Domain Lord Matsudaira Katamori took command and the Byakkotai defended their city. The building still has sword marks and bullet holes from the war. The Former Takizawa Honjin is recognized as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property.

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Former Takizawa Honjin
Historical Sites

Former Takizawa Honjin

This honjin served as a rest house used by daimyo lords when they traveled to Edo (Tokyo) as part of the Sankin-kōtai system of alternate attendance, or when they conducted inspection tours. During the Boshin War, Domain Lord Matsudaira Katamori took command and the Byakkotai defended their city. The building still has sword marks and bullet holes from the war. The Former Takizawa Honjin is recognized as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property.

Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko
Historical Sites

Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko

Built in 1055, the Nagatoko is Shingu Kumano Shrine's worship hall and translates to “long floor”. It is designated as a Nationally Important Cultural Asset. Built as the main structure during the Heian period to the Kamakura period, its thatched roof is supported by 44 massive pillars, each one 45 cm in diameter. This comprises a single large, open stage with no walls, and is said to have been used for ascetic training by priests, as well as kagura dance festivals. Housed inside a nearby large wooden frame is the shrine bell, which visitors to the shrine are welcome to hit with the wooden rod. There is also a famous copper pot where, allegedly, rice was rinsed before being offered to the gods; it was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1959. This treasure is housed at the shrine along with many others and are on display for visitors along with national and prefectural designated cultural assets. Also not to be missed in the lion statue in the center of the treasure hall. It is known as a guardian of wisdom and there is a local legend that says if you can pass under the belly of the lion your own wisdom will blossom. It’s a popular place for students to visit before the exam season, and even politicians before election season. Come autumn, the magnificent 800-year-old ginkgo tree is bathed in yellow and makes a beautiful contrast with the Nagatoko. This ancient tree has also been designated as a Natural Monument of Kitakata City. in November of every year, you can even see a special illumination of the ginkgo tree for a limited time.

Nanokamachi-dori Street
Historical Sites

Nanokamachi-dori Street

Nanokamachi-dori Street is a quaint shopping street with an olde-worlde atmosphere, located in central Aizu-Wakamatsu City. There is a mix of western-style buildings, and traditional Japanese architecture, including Japanese-style storehouses and wooden town houses, from the Taisho Period (1912-1926). This street is home to a number of shops selling local products such as Aizu lacquerware and Aizu momen (cotton made in the Aizu area). Nanokamachi-dori Street is a great spot to grab a bite to eat, and is also useful as a base to explore Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Suehiro Sake Brewery and Suzuzen lacquerware shop are just two of the esteemed businesses located close to this shopping street.

Mt. Iimoriyama
Historical Sites

Mt. Iimoriyama

Located less than 4km from Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Mt. Iimoriyama has had a difficult and somewhat dark past. But despite it’s history, the natural beauty of the place remains untarnished. There are many local food stalls set up near the base of the hill, so it’s a good idea to have a snack before you begin the ascent up the stone steps. Also at the bottom is the Byakkotai Memorial Hall; it’s located next to the path up the mountain so it’s easy to find. Inside, guests can observe various artifacts of war and learn about some of Aizu's history. Visitors have two choices to get to the top of the hill: hike up the 183 steps to the summit for free; or pay 250 yen to ride the escalator up (150 yen for children). At the summit stand the nineteen graves of the Byakkotai, White Tiger Corps. The story of these young teenage samurai-in-the-making is legendary in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and all around this prefecture. The Byakkotai boys were part of the defence against the military forces sweeping through the country during the 1868 civil war. They remained loyal to the leader of their domain and Shogun. On an autumn day during the one-month-long siege on their city, the boys had retreated to Mt. Iimoriyama. From the top of this hill, they caught sight of what they assumed to be Tsurugajo Castle set on fire - a sure sign that the war was lost. In response, they did what they had been taught was the honourable course of action, and took their own lives. In fact, the castle had not been set on fire, and the war was not yet lost. One boy was unsuccessful in his attempt, and was saved by a local woman traversing the hills. His life was saved and his story has become the history we know today. Visitors to Mt. Iimoriyama can stand in the same spot as the boys looking out over the city, or pay respects at the various memorials. The gravesite at the top of Mt. Iimoriyama was built in remembrance of those nineteen boys. Their story resonated with the leaders of the Axis Powers of World War II; near the gravesite are two historic landmarks donated by Nazi Germany and Italy. Down the northern side of the mountain are Uga-shindo, a shrine built in the late seventeenth century which deified a white snake as a god of abundance and fertility. There is also a lovely temple shaped like a turban shell, Sazaedo Temple, that visitors can actually go inside.

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