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.
Hakone is a beautiful nature spot, close enough to the big cities for a day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama. The area is known for its views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi, and onsen hot springs. The Torii gate built in the water of the lake belongs to Hakone Shrine hidden in the forest. Hakone’s mountain scenery also serves as background for the art exhibited at the Hakone Open-Air Museum. And in Owakudani Valley volcanic activity brings hot springs, bubbling mud, and steam to the surface. Getting around is part of the fun. Catch different views from Hakone Ropeway or the boats crossing Lake Ashi.
Tokyo’s west side is green and scenic and has many easily accessible day trip destinations. Explore Lake Sagami, take a boat out on the lake and visit the “Art Town” Fujino, famous for its huge outdoor Love Letter installation. For a panoramic view of the area and Mt. Fuji, go to the top of Mt. Iwadono in Otsuki. The unusually shaped Saruhashi Bridge here is a nationally designated place of scenic beauty. In Tsuru, water from Mt. Fuji creates the Taro Jiro Waterfall. And Kikuchi Wasabi Farm uses the fresh water to grow wasabi, an essential ingredient for making sushi.