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The roads where travelers passed were once called "kaido (main road)," and along the kaido, post stations formed, which were small towns that offered accommodation and food for travelers. Ouchi-Juku is one of these places. It was built in 1643 for people who lived in the Tohoku region and were traveling to Nikko, Edo (present day Tokyo) or further south. It is a place that has been used by important people such as Japanese shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi. A post station that remains in its original form is very rare, and therefore, this one attracts a lot of tourists from in and out of the country.
- Ouchi Yamamoto, Shimogo-cho, Minamiaizu-gun, Fukushima
- Contact No.
- From JR Aizuwakamatsu Station, take Aizu Railway towards Aizu-Tajima via JR Tadami Line and get off at Yunokami Onsen. 10-min bus (Saruyugo) or taxi ride from there.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 3 hours
- Admission fee
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Old Japanese House of Over 400 Years
The oldest building here was built 400 years ago. The residents protect over 30 houses with a shared attitude of "we do not rent or let go of our houses." There is also an artificial-looking theme park, however, it is all real. Stores, restaurants and inns operate in these houses just like in the old days.
See the Old Japanese Way of Living in the Exhibit area
There is a townscape exhibit in the center of Ouchi-juku. It introduces the way of living and everyday objects of Ouchi-juku from back in the day. There are many rare things like wooden rice mills and typical Japanese stoves called "irori."
Takakura Shrine where Travelers Once Prayed
Past the tori (gate) next to the exhibit, there is Takakura Shrine surrounded by cedar trees. Travelers back in the day used to pray here for the safety of their trip. If you have come from abroad, try offering a prayer for the safety of your Japan trip.
Ouchi-Juku from the Observatory
There is an observatory at the end of the walkway of Ouchi-juku. Definitely go up there, even though the stairs are pretty steep. This place, from where you can oversee all of Ouchi-juku, is the number one photo spot.
Difficult to Eat: Special Negi-Soba
Ouchi-juku's specialty is "negi-soba," which is eaten with a stick of negi (leek) instead of with chopsticks. This way of eating, which is even hard for Japanese people, originated from a superstition that it will enable you to "live until you grow white hair, long and thin like a leek." Eat the leek together with the soba.
Fantastic View of Snow
The time when Ouchi-juku is most beautiful is when it is covered in snow between December and February. Yukidoro (snow lanterns) are lit up and create a beautiful fairy-tale world. Many travelers visit during this time just to see this view.