Ouchijuku was a flourishing post-town in the 17th century. 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.
Stroll down the main street to the gate of the village shrine, Takakura Shrine, where you will find peacefulness as you pass through the shrine gate. Follow the flight of stairs and be rewarded with a stunning view over the old town.
The main street is lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. Be sure to try the local specialty “Negi Soba”. These handmade soba noodles are served with a whole leek instead of chopsticks. Enjoy the flavour and be sure to get a picture of this unique way of eating noodles!
Sampling the many traditional foods on offer is one of the main attractions of a visit to Ouchijuku. Try local delicacies such as Tochimochi, a sweet made with sticky rice and Japanese horse chestnut seeds, or Shingoro, glutinous rice balls coated with a paste of miso and sesame seeds and grilled over charcoal.
If you have time a visit to the nearby “To-no-Hetsuri” river gorge is well worth the effort. This scenic location has been designated a national natural monument.