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Region
Tohoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Fukushima
Population
2,126,998

Ouchi-juku

A village that's worthy of feudal lords and tourists alike.

Ouchi-juku is a time-slip worthy of a Hollywood movie set. Once part of the long route from the Aizu Domain west of Fukushima to the capital of Edo, Ouchi-juku flourished as a major trade station, offering rest for weary feudal lords and their attendants. When inevitable industrialization and the development of highway routes diverted the trade route to Edo, dedicated residents meticulously preserved the town’s scenic main street. 

Take a step back in time

Ouchijuku village

Hand-crafted goods and rustic lunches can be found in Ouchi-juku.

Today, millions of travelers visit Ouchi-juku for an authentic glimpse into Japan’s feudal past. Thatched-roof houses, dirt tracks, and unblighted natural surroundings (no electricity cables on show here) make the former postal town the perfect pit stop during your tour through Fukushima.

Discover Fukushima

Ouchijuku in Fukushima, Japan.
In Ouchi-juku, you can sample famous negi soba, a dish of regional soba buckwheat noodles eaten with a long, fresh leek in any one of its 11 tatami-floored restaurants. 

Afterward, browse the shops selling local handmade goods, such as beautiful Aizu momen cotton and ceramics. For a more personal touch, make a stop at Minatogawa-ya and try your hand at painting your very own akabeko, or red cow, the symbol of Fukushima Prefecture.

If you’re not faint of hard, try snacking on inago no tsukudani, or fried grasshoppers boiled in soy sauce and sugar. These creepy-crawlies once served as an essential source of protein for rural Japan. 

Winter and summer festivals

Ouchijuku village in winter.

Ouchi-juku in winter.

If you visit Ouchi-juku in February, you can see the annual Snow Festival. On the second Saturday and Sunday of the month, the village transforms into a candle-lit winter wonderland blanketed in snow.

Midsummer festivities are just as photogenic. On July 2, the main street of Ouchi-juku is full of procession goers wearing Edo-period garb and masks. The parade celebrates the middle of the hot summer days. Tourists can even participate. Try on a happi coat and celebrate along with the residents—a rare privilege for a festival this local.

Trivia

Ouchijuku in Fukushima, Japan.

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How To Get There

Address

969-5207, Japan

By train

From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama Station. At Koriyama, take the local JR Ban Etsu-nishi line to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. From there, change lines again to the Aizu line for Yunokami Station. From the station, it’s a short 10 minute taxi ride to Ouchi-juku. Train travel from Tokyo takes approximately 3 1/2 hours.

By car

Coming from Tokyo, take the Shirakawa IC on the Tohoku Expressway to Yunokami (3 hours). From Yunokami, it’s a short 10 minute drive to Ouchi-juku. Parking is available for 300 yen for standard sized cars.

Where To Stay

Aizu Ashinomaki Onsen Marumine Kanko Hotel
  • 1128 Otomachi Ashinomaki, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, 969-5147 Japan
  • ¥12,870 - ¥41,580
  • 4.08/5 (2,466 reviews)
  • 6.1 km
Aizu Ashinomaki Onsen Ashinomaki Prince Hotel
  • 1050 Otomachi Ashinomaki, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, 969-5147 Japan
  • ¥13,063 - ¥13,585
  • 4.04/5 (207 reviews)
  • 6.2 km
Aizu Ashinomaki Onsen Ashinomaki Grand Hotel
  • 1044 Otomachi Ashinomaki, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, 969-5147 Japan
  • ¥6,350 - ¥8,550
  • 4.34/5 (758 reviews)
  • 6.3 km

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