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Travel from Asakusa,Tokyo to Nikko (113 miles) and Aizu (55 miles further) to Combine an Early Experience of Fall at Japan's Highest Altitude Lake with an Introduction to Samurai Culture in a Castle town.
Lake Chuzenji in Nikko (l) and Samurai house in Aizu (r)
The Northern part of Honshu, Japan's main island, offers so much in the autumn. Nikko's majestic Lake Chuzenji – Japan's highest altitude lake – is approximately a two-hour train ride north of Tokyo's Asakusa station, followed by a 30-minute bus ride. Here, colorful foliage arrives about a month earlier than in Tokyo. After enjoying the vivid colors and natural surroundings, travelers should continue to Ouchi-juku (20 miles) to immerse themselves in samurai culture and street scenes preserved as if in the Edo period. Next their journey (6.2 miles) should take them to the Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan, to learn more about Japan and its historic culture.
Fall Colors Come Early in the Area Around Nikko's Lake Chuzenji
Lake Chuzenji Pleasure Boat Cruise
A Tobu Chuzenji-ko cruise offers picturesque 360°panoramic views of the fall colors. The boat is scheduled to operate in the early morning between mid-October and early November (Departs every hour from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm). In June 2019, the new Embassy Villa Memorial Park Pier opened, now allowing sightseeing cruises to take passengers directly to the Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park, which is refurbished to its former glory, as of April 2019. Next visitors move on to the British Embassy Villa Memorial Park, with its stunning lake views. British Embassy Memorial Villa
Both venues offer light meals.
Tobu Chuzenji-ko Cruise: https://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/nikko_kinugawa/tourism/3.html
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
Aizu offers the Experience of Edo Period Traditions and Samurai Culture
Ouchi-juku Town in Aizu
A 10-minute taxi ride from Yunokami Onsen Station (30 min. from Nishi Wakamatsu Station) on the Aizu Railway is Ouchi-juku, a village preserved in samurai period style. With rows of thatched roofs, the traditional scene takes travelers back in time. Visitors can soak up the atmosphere and then try the local food favorite: negi soba -- buckwheat noodles served with a single long leek instead of chopsticks!The recommended itinerary continues to Aizu Wakamatsu Station (15 min. by taxi). Here visitors explore the Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan, a former samurai school, where 1000 local warriors' children learned the samurai culture. After viewing the traditional buildings and seeing how the samurai children studied, visitors can experience traditional archery, zazen meditation, and akabeko painting (of a toy wooden cow, a popular local handicraft). Finally, the trip ends with a tasting session at Homare Sake Brewery in Kitakata (10 min. by taxi from Kitakata Sta., JR Ban'etsu West Line), a century-old establishment with an attractive garden, especially when the golden and crimson colors of fall are in view.Tasting Room at Homare Sake Brewery, Aizu
Aizu Clan School Nisshinkan: https://aizuwakamatsu.mylocal.jp/en_US/trip/spot-list/-/spotdetail/...
Homare Sake Brewery: https://aizuwakamatsu.mylocal.jp/en/trip/spot-list/-/spotdetail/spo...
The YUTTARI (relaxing) AIZU Tobu 'FREE PASS' Saves Money on Travel Between Asakusa Station in Tokyo and Nikko/Aizu stations.
This "Free Pass" (allows travel freely, but not free of charge) is recommended for touring around the sightseeing spots introduced above. It provides passengers with a return ticket between Asakusa Station, in Tokyo and Shimo Imaichi Station in Nikko area, as well as unlimited travel on specified rail and bus routes in the designated area between Shimo Imaichi and Aizu.Aizu Free Pass Details: http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/pass/aizu.html
About Tobu Railway Company Ltd.:
TOBU Railway Company, Ltd. is a major Japanese corporation consisting of approximately 90 companies. The Tobu Railways the longest operating distance in Metropolitan Tokyo and lead to numerous tourist attractions including: Asakusa and Tokyo SKYTREE TOWN in Tokyo; Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen, famous its world heritage sites and hot springs; the Tatebayashi and Ashikaga areas, known for beautiful blooming flower fields; and Kawagoe, where the atmosphere of the old Edo era lives on. Tobu is also invested in numerous , including the highly anticipated luxury properties: Nikko Fufu Resort and The Ritz Carlton Nikko, both of which will open in 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics.