• Culture
  • Tochigi

British Embassy Villa Memorial Park

"Tastes of JAPAN by ANA" is a regional vitalization project that collaborates with the different prefectures in Japan to present the Land of the Rising Sun in all of its diverse glory.

The former embassy villa in beautiful harmony with Lake Chuzenji

The Chuzenji lakeside became popular as an international summer resort from the mid-Meiji period (1868-1912) to the early Showa period (1926-1989). Many foreigners and embassies built their villas there. The British Embassy Villa Memorial Park is the museum of the history of the lakeside as the international summer resort, constructed in 1896. Overlook the picturesque landscape of Lake Chuzenji from the second floor.

British Embassy Villa Memorial Park

The former British Embassy villa is the starting point of Okunikko as an international summer resort. Ernest Satow, the British ambassador who greatly influenced the Meiji Restoration, loved Okunikko very much. Having built a mountain villa at Chuzenji lakeside in 1896, he enjoyed his vacations of watching the beautiful scenery and mountain climbing. Then the villa was used by the successive ambassadors as a villa for the British embassy until 2008. It was opened to the public from 2016, following dismantlement and restoration. The villa shows the exhibits related to the history of the international summer resort and British culture. The tearoom serves tea and scones based on the recipe supervised by the cook from the British Embassy. Visitors can enjoy looking at the landscape of Lake Chuzenji that Satow loved and called "the picturesque lake" from the veranda on the second floor.

Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park

Located near British Embassy Villa Memorial Park, Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park was built as a summer house for the Italian Embassy in 1928, and used by the successive ambassadors until 1997. It is characterized by the modern atmosphere with a blend of Japanese and Western styles with the interior and exterior walls decorated with cedar bark. The main residence reproduces the time of the embassy villa, with the actual furniture used by the owners. The second residence serves as the international summer resort history museum that explains the history of Lake Chuzenji, once a popular summer resort for foreigners.

Lake Chuzenji

The largest lake in Tochigi Prefecture was created by the eruption of Mount Nantai approximately 20,000 years ago. One of 100 Landscapes of Japan, the lake is at the highest level in Japan among the lakes with the area of at least 4 square kilometers, excluding artificial lakes, with the water surface's sea level altitude of 1,269 meters. Take a pleasure cruise, ride in a canoe or stand on a paddleboard to enjoy the splendid scenery of fresh green or autumn foliage.

Location

Name British Embassy Villa Memorial Park
Web Sites https://www.nikko-nsm.co.jp/en/british.html
Address 2482 Chugushi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi
Access From Asakusa Station on the Tobu Railway, take Limited Express Spacia or Revaty and get off at Tobu Nikko Station
From JR Shinjuku Station, take either the JR Line or Tobu limited express train and get off at Tobu Nikko Station
Take the bus bound for Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen and get off at Chuzenji Onsen bus stop and walk approximately 40 minutes
From Chuzenji Onsen, take the bus bound for Hangetsusan (Mount Hangetsu), get off at Italian or British Embassy Villa Memorial Park and walk 5 minutes
Drive approximately 50 minutes from the Utsunomiya IC to the Kiyotaki IC and walk approximately 10 minutes from the prefectural Utagahama parking lot (free) via Irohazaka
Business Hours April and November 11 to 30: 9:00 to 16:00
May to November 10: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed June to October: Open seven days a week
April, May, and November: Every Monday (if Monday is a public holiday, then the following Tuesday or later)
December to March: Closed for winter
Inquiries TEL: 0288-55-0880 (Nikko Natural Science Museum)
Admission Adults: 200 yen (300 yen); Children: 100 yen (150 yen) *1
*1 The rates inside the brackets are for both the British and Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Parks

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