Culture & History
Winter is splendid in historical Ouchi-juku
Ouchi-juku is a town of historical importance, as it served as a rest stop for weary travelers making the long trip to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) along the Shimotsuke Kaido road during the Edo period (1603-1867). Many of the thatched buildings in the village are over 300 years old, allowing visitors a glimpse into Japan of a bygone age. Experience the deeply rooted culture by joining the locals in their quirky way of eating their famous soba noodles — not with chopsticks, but with a leek.
There are several seasonal festivals in the village, and the most popular is the splendid Ouchi-juku Snow Festival, held on the second weekend of February every year. Candles are placed inside handmade lanterns crafted from the snow, along with many other events.
How to get there
The nearest station to Ouchi-juku is Yonokami Onsen on the Aizu Railway Aizu Line. This line connects to the shinkansen at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. Unfortunately, there is no bus service from Yonokami Onsen Station from December to March, so you will need to take a 15-minute taxi ride from the station during these months.