In this edition, we would like to introduce Nikko, approximately two hours by train from Asakusa. A 30-minute bus ride from the station brings you to the area around Lake Chuzenji, Japan’s highest altitude lake, where fall always comes a little early. After enjoying the beautiful colors and natural surroundings, we recommend traveling to Ouchi-juku, to learn about samurai culture and experience street scenes unchanged from the Edo period, before journeying to the Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan, to learn more about Japan and its traditional culture.
・Enjoy the Fall Colors Early in the Area Around Nikko’s Lake Chuzenji
Lake Chuzenji, Japan’s highest lake, can be reached with a bus ride of around 30 minutes from Tobu-nikko Station. After reaching the lake, we recommend taking a cruise on the Tobu Chuzenji-ko Cruise to gain picturesque views of the 360°panorama of fall colors.
Tobu Chuzenji-ko Cruise: https://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/nikko_kinugawa/tourism/3.html
The boat is scheduled to operate in the early morning between mid October and early November. In June, the new Embassy Villa Memorial Park Pier opened now allowing sightseeing cruises to take passengers directly to the Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park, which has been restored to its former glory following the completion of refurbishment work in April. In the park, visitors can enjoy the harmony between the architecture and natural surroundings before moving onto the British Embassy Villa Memorial Park, which has stunningly picturesque views of the lake. As both venues offer light meals, why not spend some time in relaxed comfort against this stunning natural backdrop?
Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park ：https://www.nikko-nsm.co.jp/en/italy.html
British Embassy Villa Memorial Park ：https://www.nikko-nsm.co.jp/en/british.html
・Visit Aizu to Experience the Edo Period Traditions and Discover Samurai Culture
Around 10 minutes by taxi from the Yunokami Onsen Station on the Aizu Railway is Ouchi-juku, a village preserved in the style of Japan’s samurai period. With rows of thatched roofs, the traditional scenes take visitors back in time. After soaking up the atmosphere, why not enjoy the local favorite of negi soba? (buckwheat noodles served with a single long leek instead of chopsticks).
Our recommended course continues to Aizu Wakamatsu Station and the Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan, a former samurai school, where 1000 children of local warriors learned samurai culture. After viewing the traditional buildings and seeing how the samurai children studied, you can experience traditional Japanese archery, zazen meditation, and painting an akabeko (a toy wooden cow, a well-known local handicraft). Why not end your trip with a tasting session at Homare Sake Brewery in Kitakata, a century-old establishment with a beautiful garden for viewing fall leaves.
Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan ： https://aizuwakamatsu.mylocal.jp/en_US/trip/spot-list/-/spotdetail/spotinfo/1000000089/3999496
■Use the YUTTARI(relaxing) AIZU TOBU FREE PASS to save money on travel between Asakusa,
Tokyo and Nikko/Aizu
This "free pass“(it is not free of charge) is recommended to tour around the sightseeing spots introduced above. It provides passengers with a return ticket between Asakusa in Tokyo and Shimo Imaichi Station as well as unlimited travel on specified rail and bus routes in the designated area between Shimo Imaichi and Aizu.