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 who lived 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

Mountain and Travel Course Guide

Related trips

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    This trip highlights some of the best Fukushima has to offer and is perfect for those looking to get the most out of the prefecture in a limited time. Take in castles, nature, traditional villages, and more as you treat yourself to local styles of soba and ramen along the way. Renting a car is a must if you want to hit all the spots on this tour. You can take it slow and complete this trip over three days, or skip out an overnight stay in Urabandai area, and do it in two days. Start the day from Fukushima Station with a scenic drive to the the beautiful Urabandai region. We recommend taking the Bandai-Azuma Skyline road so that you can enjoy a mountain drive and check out the great sights at Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. From there, take the stunning sightseeing road Azuma-Bandai Lake Line into Urabandai. Explore the Urabandai area, have lunch, go on a walk around the five-colored ponds of Goshiki-numa, and maybe even take a dip in a hot spring or two. Choose whether take it slow and stay the night in Urabandai area, or whether to press on to Aizu-Wakamatsu City.  Later that day - or the next morning, depending on your schedule - head into the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu City where samurai culture is prevalent. The majestic Tsurugajo Castle offers beautiful views of the surroundings from the keep. Check out the nearby Tsurugajo Kaikan to paint an akabeko or two and maybe have some lunch. Then explore the mysterious Sazaedo Temple and the surrounding Mt. Iimoriyama area. From here, we suggest staying overnight in the city. There are plenty of budget hotels in Aizu-Wakamatsu, but if you are looking for something traditionally Japanese, we recommend looking into lodging at the nearby Higashiyama Onsen hot springs town just east of the city. On the next day prepare to jump into the past with a trip to the Ouchi-juku mountain village. You can spend hours here shopping and eating local foods while walking up and down the street lined with traditional thatched-roof houses. Lastly, head to the To-no-Hetsuri Crags, a natural monument filled with towering cliffs overlooking the Okawa River. Cross the nearby suspension bridge which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. After getting fully refreshed head back to Shin-Shirakawa station by car, drop off your rental car, and connect back to Tokyo or the next stop on your journey!

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    1. Food

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      Have a gourmet adventure in Ouchi-juku, Aizu. The Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture is known for its eclectic and delicious foods, not to mention the absolutely fantastic scenery. Enjoy this one-day itinerary that you can do at any time of year by public transport. Walk your way through Ouchi-juku and admire the local sights and cuisine. You’ll arrive at Ouchi-juku by bus from Yunokami Onsen Station. The unique architecture will be a feast for your eyes but the real feasting will begin once you arrive at Misawaya. At Misawaya, you can experience any of the three amazing shops; take a lunch of authentic buckwheat noodles, called soba, or try some of the local Japanese sake, or if alcohol isn’t your thing, why not enjoy a refreshing cup of hot green tea? Refresh yourself at Misawaya and then venture out to Honke Kanouya. While there might not be much to munch on at Honke Kanouya, you can instead please your other senses with the local handicrafts of the area. Find some delightful souvenirs to take home. Finish off your visit just around the corner from Honke Kanouya; here you’ll find Sabo Yamadaya Café, a lovely café that fully displays the charms of the Aizu region in their décor and food. You should definitely try some of their snow-cured coffee (yukimuro coffee) while you’re there!

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          1. Adventure

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            Have you ever wanted to take a cross-prefecture tour of Japan, from Tokyo to the impeccable countryside of Fukushima? Well, now is your chance to travel from the international hub of Tokyo and see what else Japan and—especially—Fukushima have to offer. Enjoy this cross-country tour of Japan any time of the year, over the span of a few days so that you can enjoy things at your pace. You’ll find life outside of Tokyo goes at a much slower pace. Start your trip from Tokyo Station and ride a short distance to Asakusa. See one of the busiest shrine-and-temple locations in Tokyo. You’ll love the bustling atmosphere and the street stalls with their many trinkets and souvenirs. Once you’ve finished in Asakusa, head out of the city and make your way for Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko. Nikko is perhaps most famous for the three monkey statues that people equate with “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. You’ll see these wonderful statues and more while you stop over in Nikko. From there, travel north to Higashiyama Onsen and enjoy the sights form the train along the way. Higashiyama Onsen is Fukushima’s home to some truly great hot springs and Japanese-style inns. Soak up the hot waters and relax your tired muscles. At Tsuruga-jo Castle, you can walk the pristine gardens and enjoy the castle grounds. Be sure to make note of the red-roof tiles of the castle as well, this is the only castle in Japan that boasts having these deep-red tiles. Inside the castle keep, discover the history of the Aizu samurai through the many exhibits and displayed artifacts. Make your way to Nanokamachi-dori Street and admire the local architecture, which is quite different than that from the rest of the area. Search out local hidden gems along the narrow streets and find the perfect souvenir to take home. Enjoy your time in Tokyo, Tochigi, and Fukushima like never before with this route.  

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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
Hot Springs

Yunokami Onsen

Yunokami Onsen is famous for having one of the only thatched roof station buildings in Japan. The hot spring area is fed from 8 source springs. Each ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in the town draws its hot water directly from the source. The clear, transparent water is beloved for being soft and gentle on the skin. Many lodges offer just day-use of their baths, making it a great place to enjoy on a whim. There is also a public foot bath located at Yunokami Onsen Station. During the cherry blossom season, visitors can enjoy a warm foot bath while watching the light pink petals fluttering in the wind.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Lake Hibara

The rock slides caused by the steam eruption of Mt. Bandai in 1888 blocked countless rivers, and lead to the creation of over 300 lakes and ponds spread throughout the area. Lake Hibara is the largest of these lakes, and with a length of 10 km running along the ravine of the Hibara River, and a shoreline of 37 km, it is Japan's largest lake to be created by natural dams caused by a volcano eruption. Lake Hibara is now the focal point of tourism in the Urabandai region, and from rambling along sightseeing trails in summer to Japanese pond smelt fishing in the winter, there are countless ways for visitors to refresh and invigorate themselves. Guides are available with a reservation.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Oyakuen Garden

Oyakuen was used approximately 600 years ago as a villa for the then lord of the Aizu Domain. Subsequently, in the mid-17th century, the lord of the Aizu Domain started growing medicinal herbs within the grounds which he developed to protect the citizenry from epidemics. This lead to the garden gaining the name "Oyakuen", which literally means "medicinal garden." The traditional garden has been preserved as it was long ago, and Oyakuen has now been designated as an important national asset. The buildings within the grounds were used by the lord as a place of relaxation and for entertainment. Accordingly, Oyakuen still contains buildings devoted to Japanese tea. Visitors can enjoy a cup of herbal tea here even today.

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Shopping & Souvenirs

Honke Kanouya

Among the simple color palette of Ouchi-juku, Honke Kanouya will draw your eyes with their brightly-colored collection of goods. Lining the store front is a wide assortment of items like vegetable-shaped beanbags to ornaments to decorations to fabric accessories. All these crafts are handmade. The eye-catching goods make great souvenirs for family and friends alike! Recommended items include the Aizu-made fabric accessories and selected seasonal vegetables beanbags.  

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