Aizu is the western region of Fukushima Prefecture. Aizu Wakamatsu City is a center of the region and as the city names themselves as "Samurai City", the area shows the samurai tradition at the landmarks such as Tsuruga Castle and Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai residence). It also has been a town of merchants with beautiful storehouses. Ouchi-juku is an old post town which is famous with its traditional thatched buildings that line its main street.
Nikko offers gorgeous nature and architecture. Located in Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is a popular destination for a trip from Tokyo. The “Shrines and Temples of Nikko” are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 200 years is enshrined at Toshogu Shrine, known for its intricately decorated buildings set among tall trees. Another famous spot is the red lacquered Shinkyo Bridge that belongs to Futarasan Shrine. Nikko National Park has good hiking and photogenic landscape. From the shores of Lake Chuzenji you can walk through Senjogahara Marsh to Yudaki Falls and Yumoto Onsen.
For a day trip away from the busy districts of Tokyo, take a train to the green western side of the city. Mt. Takao is a popular destination for hiking. Different trails lead to the summit - trail #1 goes past Mt. Takao Monkey Park and Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple. From the summit of Mt. Takao you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. After a long walk, relax with a leisurely onsen bath. Akigawa Keikoku Seoto-no-Yu is an onsen spa located near Ishibune-bashi Bridge, a spot known for its gorgeous view across Akigawa River in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.