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Japan Hour

Local Bus Adventure To Tochigi Prefecture - Part 1

Join us as we embark on a two-day bus trip from Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a World Heritage Site dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, to the city of Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. We first head to a bus stop near the shrine and take the 8.40am bus to Tobu Nikko Station. Once we arrive, we visit the information centre at the station to ask about the best bus route to take to Fukushima Prefecture. We are advised to go to Shimo-Imaichi Station and transfer to another bus heading to Shin-Takatoku Station before going towards Yaita. We board the 9.45am bus at Tobu Nikko Station and head to Shimo-Imaichi. The bus crosses the Daiya River and enters the city of Imaichi before finally arriving at Shimo-Imaichi Station. 

The bus to Shin-Takatoku Station will depart from here about an hour later at 11.30am. We make use of the time to have an early lunch at Shimo-Imaichi. We eat at a restaurant which sells Tochigi Prefecture’s “number one” dish, having won the first prize at the Nikko Fried Noodle Grand Prix. We order the speciality fried noodles, which are seasoned with nine sauces and topped with a fried egg. We also try Nikko’s famous shaved ice. It is made with natural ice from the deep mountains of Nikko and is fine and fluffy.  

At 11.30am, we board the bus going to Shin-Takatoku, which is 25 minutes away. From here, we transfer buses and head to Yaita Station at 1.55pm. The bus travels through the countryside before arriving at Yaita after 45 minutes. After making enquiries about bus routes, we take the 4.15pm bus to a town nearby in order to reach the city of Otawara. Then, we walk for about 1.5km to a bus stop near Nozaki Station at 5.10pm. However, the last bus to Otawara has already left. So we have no choice but to walk to the city centre, 6km away. 

We walk for two hours before reaching Otawara. We speak to someone working at the city hall who knows about bus routes. He tells us that if we want to head north towards Shirakawa in Fukushima Prefecture, we should take the bus from Otawara to Nasushiobara Station first. From there, we can take the Yu Bus to Kuroiso Station, before going to Nasu's town hall and crossing the prefectural border. So at 8.05pm, we board the bus at Otawara’s city hall and head to Nasushiobara Station. However, we later find out that the last bus bound for Kuroiso left Nasushiobara at 5pm. So we have to spend the night at Nasushiobara and start looking for a place to stay.


1)    Shaved ice is a popular sweet treat found in Nikko
2)    Check out the weather forecast for the day in case you need to walk long distances 

Source: CNA


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