One of the questions I am asked the most frequently is how to reach Ouchi-juku, especially during the annual snow festival held in this historic post-town.
The information about accessing this festival is predominantly written in Japanese, so I thought I would post this blog article about how to access the festival.
Next year’s Snow Festival will be held on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February 2018.
The festival will feature lots of fun events, such as a soba noodle eating contest, a wood-sawing contest, traditional Japanese theatre performances, a competition for picking up mochi the fastest, the world’s largest dango stick, and – of course – a stunning firework display on Saturday night.
Getting to Ouchi-juku by Bus
There are temporary buses and trains running throughout the snow festival weekend.
To see the official information published by Ouchi-juku Tourism Association about next year’s festival, see here (Japanese language only).
On Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th February, buses run between Yunokami Onsen Station to Ouchi-juku. A 1 day pass on the bus costs 1000 yen for adults and 500 yen for kids. Please pay on the day upon riding the bus.
I’ve put together a timetable of the bus times which you can see here below (click on it for a bigger version).
Getting to Yunokami Onsen Station
You can reach Yunokami Onsen Station by train from Aizutajima Station (3.5 hours from Asakusa by train) or from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (3 hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen & train)
Here is a timetable of the trains between Aizu-Wakamatsu Station & Yunokami Onsen Stations and between Aizutajima Station & Yunokami Onsen Station.
Getting to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station
The easiest way to get to Aizu-Wakamatsu is via the JR Banetsu West Line, which connects Aizu-Wakamatsu to Koriyama Station.
Koriyama Station is a main Shinkansen stop on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, and it can be reached in around 1 hour 20 mins from Tokyo Station.
Getting to Aizutajima Station
Aizutajima Station can be accessed from Asakusa Station in Tokyo via the new Revaty Limited Express Train. The train takes approximately 3.5 hours to reach Aizutajima from Asakusa.
For more information on how to catch the Revaty Limited Express Train, please look here.
Visiting Ouchi-juku outside of Festival Time
There is a seasonal bus service between Yunokami Onsen and Ouchi-juku on weekends and national holidays that runs between April and November. The specific dates for this service for 2018 are yet to be announced, but I will post information about it here when there is news.
Here is the website which specifies information about this bus.
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