Cycling Japan – day 37 – Aizu Wakamatsu to Ouchi Juku and back

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  • Day 37 – Aizu Wakamatsu to Ouchi Juku and back
  • Distance: 75.9km
  • Ascent / descent: 891m / 902m
  • Weather: Sunny and hot
  • Accommodation: Couchsurfing hosts Victor and Veronica

I was woken with eggs and coffee for breakfast from my wonderful couchsurfing hosts Victor and Veronica. It was a great way to start the day, thank you! I had decided that I wanted to visit an old Edo period post town called Ouchi-juku which would mean cycling south 30km, so effectively backwards! Victor and Veronica were very kind and said I could stay another night, so I left behind my luggage and set out for a day trip into the mountains.

My first stop was Aizu Wakamatsu castle.

Aizu Wakamatsu Castle

Aizu Wakamatsu Castle

I then took Route 121 the majority of the way, but I wouldn’t recommend this route as there was barely any shoulder and it was very busy with cars and trucks. Although, I did love seeing all the old houses that once would have had thatched roofs.

Old houses along Route 121

Old houses along Route 121

Old houses along Route 121

Old houses along Route 121

Ashinomaki Onsen

Ashinomaki Onsen

Ashinomaki Onsen

Ashinomaki Onsen

Victor and Veronica had recommended I visit Tonohetsuri if I was going all the way to Ouchi-juku anyway, and it was a lovely cliff area not far from the turn-off to Ouchi-juku.

Welcome to Tonohetsuri

Welcome to Tonohetsuri

A bridge over the Aga River to Tonohetsuri cliff

A bridge over the Aga River to Tonohetsuri cliff

River Aga

River Aga

Tonohetsuri cliff

Tonohetsuri cliff

A man making Kokeshi dolls at Tonohetsuri cliff (I bought a jizo doll here)

A man making Kokeshi dolls at Tonohetsuri cliff (I bought a jizo doll here)

Mountain views and the River Aga

Mountain views and the River Aga

They also recommended I see this Onsen station which was very picturesque.

Yunokami Onsen thatched roof train station

Yunokami Onsen thatched roof train station

And then I turned off onto Route 329 to start the last big climb up to Ouchi-juku. Without my luggage I didn’t have to get off the bike and push which made a nice change 😉

And now I begin the climb in earnest up to Ouchi-jukuCF9578

And now I begin the climb in earnest up Route 329 to Ouchi-juku (even though this picture doesn’t show the climb!)

Does anyone know what bird this is?

Does anyone know what bird this is?

The river running parallel to Route 329 on my way to Ouchi-juku

The river running parallel to Route 329 on my way to Ouchi-juku

The river running parallel to Route 329 on my way to Ouchi-juku

The river running parallel to Route 329 on my way to Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku was an absolutely delight of a post-town along an old road that connected Aizu Wakamatsu with Nikko. I loved it there, walking along the old street, trying to imagine samurai passing through and what it would have been like to live in Japan at that time.

The stunning Edo post-town called Ouchi-juku

The stunning Edo post-town called Ouchi-juku

The stunning Edo post-town called Ouchi-juku

The stunning Edo post-town called Ouchi-juku

A restaurant specialising in Takato soba noodles (soba with leek) in Ouchi-juku

A restaurant specialising in Takato soba noodles (soba with leek) in Ouchi-juku

A restaurant specialising in Takato soba noodles (soba with leek) in Ouchi-juku

I ate the local specialty of Takato-soba for lunch. I was told to use the leek as a spoon and that I could also eat the leek – the first bite of it almost blew my socks off! Needless to say I had just two more small bites of the leek and that was it, it was way too strong for me! The noodles were delicious though, as was the broth that I was told to put in the bowl after I’d eaten all the noodles – it was a hot day, so the broth felt very hydrating.

Takato soba noodles (soba with leek) in Ouchi-juku

Takato soba noodles (soba with leek) in Ouchi-juku

Selfie eating Takato-soba with the giant leek

Selfie eating Takato-soba with the giant leek

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Kokeshi dolls for sale in Ouchi-juku

Kokeshi dolls for sale in Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Dolls for sale in Ouchi-juku

Dolls for sale in Ouchi-juku

Dolls for sale in Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Taking the stairs up to a viewpoint overlooking the old Edo post-town of Ouchi-juku

Taking the stairs up to a viewpoint overlooking the old Edo post-town of Ouchi-juku

Looking down on Ouchi-juku

Looking down on Ouchi-juku

Looking down on Ouchi-juku

Looking down on Ouchi-juku

Looking down on Ouchi-juku-2

Looking down on Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku

Lots of flowers in bloom in Ouchi-juku

Lots of flowers in bloom in Ouchi-juku

A lady selling senbei rice crackers in Ouchi-juku

A lady selling senbei rice crackers in Ouchi-juku

Rather than take the same route back to Aizu Wakamatsu, I cycled up past the dam on an old highway and had a very long descent. It was so much fun!! Back at Victor and Veronica’s we had another wonderful night getting to know each other. Thank you so much for your hospitality!!!

Jb37 - elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb37 – elevation profile from Garmin connect

Jb37 - google map from Garmin Connect

Jb37 – google map from Garmin Connect

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3 responses to “Cycling Japan – day 37 – Aizu Wakamatsu to Ouchi Juku and back

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