During the Edo period (1603-1867) Ōuchijuku was a “post town” along the Aizu-Nishi Kaido trade route, which connected Aizu with Nikko during the Edo Period. Post towns dotted the long road to Edo where rural samurai went to procure rice and food supplies. They would walk for several days on the road, and then stay the night in one of these post towns along the way.
Ouchi-juku is filled with buildings that are over 300 years old, with traditional thatched roofs and streets with running water to either side. At the end of the main road is a short but steep set of stairs that leads to a temple. From the temple, you can see a beautiful panoramic view of Ouchi-juku in its exquisite mountain setting.
Today, Ouchijuku has been restored to look as it did hundreds of years ago, with telephone and electricity wires buried. Many of the buildings have been preserved from this time, providing visitors with an authentic time-travel experience to one of Japan’s most culturally rich periods. The unpaved main street is lined by thick thatched-roof buildings.
The over 30 remaining thatched roof houses in Ouchi-juku that were once farms are now stores and souvenir shops. You can enjoy a variety of light snacks that have been loved since the Edo period, including scallion buckwheat noodles, char fish grilled in a sunken hearth, and the fragrant and sticky sweet potato rice cakes.
The town’s traditional buildings are now officially protected. Visitors can travel back in time to the Edo period as they walk along the row of thatched-roof homesteads. Traditional lifestyles can be seen inside the houses with various displays such as old-fashioned Irori fireplaces and the homewares of the era. There is also a museum with Edo Period artifacts.