The Historic Edo Period Post Town Of Ouchi-juku

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SHIMOGO | Ouchi-juku is a former post town which connected the towns of Aizu and Nikko during Japan’s Edo Period (1603 and 1868). The purpose of towns like Ouchi-juku was to provide travellers with a place to rest, eat, and lodge while making their long journeys, often by foot due to restrictions put in place by the shogunate. At its peak it was one of the most important post towns on this route, which was the main route for the periodic move by daimyo (feudal lords) between Edo (Tokyo) and their domains, and for the transportation of rice.

During the Meiji period (1868 to 1912), new, improved national transportation routes were constructed throughout Japan, and the importance of post towns like Ouchi-juku waned. In the process of becoming somewhat forgotten, many of the traditional buildings in the town remained, and in 1981, Ouchi-juku was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. The buildings were restored and today the town looks much as it did during the Edo period, with the thatched roof houses that line the main street acting as restaurants, shops, and  minshuku (small traditional Japanese inns).

There is a small shrine and temple at the end of the main street which gives visitors a fantastic view of Ouchi-juku and its natural surrounds. While visiting, make sure to try out some of the local delicacies like negi soba, miso marniated grilled sardines, and manjū at Misawaya and Asanuma Shokudou.

Ouchijuku is located in Shimogo Town, about 20 kilometers south of Aizuwakamatsu. The nearest railway station is Yunokami Onsen on the Aizu Railroad (about 35 minutes from Aizu Wakamatsu Station), which is a 15 minute taxi ride from town. From April to November, a bus operates between Yunokami Onsen and Ouchi-juku about once per hour (20 minute drive).

Ouchi-juku

Ōuchi, Shimogo
Minamiaizu District
Fukushima Prefecture 969-5207
Japan

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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