About a few weeks ago my partner and I decided to drive to Tochigi Prefecture.

Perhaps, first thing comes to mind for Tochigi is Nikko, where the great Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu rests, a place crowded with tourists as it is a UNESCO heritage site.  Yes, Nikko Shrine is worth seeing for those who likes such but I would like to show you something different.

Not so far away from Nikko is Chuzenjiko, a lake side resort.  In the early 1900s it was a place to be for foreign deplomats during the Summer.  Many Summer Vacation House of various European embassy used to be here.

 

Here is the Italian Summer Vacation House, now open to the public to view.  The original building was built in 1928. The current one has been rebuit after it was vacated.  Rebuit to original spec. for general public.

 

 

And of course it is on the lake side as you can see from the opposite view.

 

 

It was a bit cloudy but quite beautiful.  Much cooler than Tokyo or Narita due to higher altitude, making a great get-away during the hot humid Japanese Summer.

 

Next stop was about hour drive away, Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art. 

http://www.hiroshige.bato.tochigi.jp/batou/hp/index_e.html

Beautiful building designed by Kengo Kuma.  This Museum has collection of wood prints by Hiroshige.

 

 

 The musium is located in quite remote area and it may be quite difficult for tourist to get around unless you are staying Japan for a while with perhaps a ride to get around.

 

After enjoying the museum, stopped by for grab a bite of Udon at the museum shop.  Many Japanese museum has restaurants or cafe and they are quite good.  This one no exeption.

 

On the drive back home, I have stopped on the bridge, taken aback by beautiful view of the river surrounded by some rice fields.  Fishermen enjoying the late afternoon at the bank of a river.