With Isabella Bird: On the Road to Nikko *RERUN
Isabella Bird explored Japan in 1878, a mere ten years after the country had opened its doors to the West. She was accompanied by just one young man who served as both her interpreter and attendant. Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is her highly praised travelogue of that journey. Riki Ohkanda, a media personality well versed in Japanese culture, follows a length of the route that Isabella traveled from Yokohama to Nikko.

Kasukabe: Kiri-tansu, Paulownia Chest

The first place Isabella Bird stayed. The town is known for its refined paulownia chests.

Tochigi: Meiji Era Photos

She next rested at the Tochigi-shuku. Former samurai turned photographer Kataoka Josho captured the area with his cameras.

Nikko: Old Lodging Exclusively for Foreigners

She stayed at a lodging catering to foreigners, called "the samurai house." In her journal, she praises its exquisite interior.


From Yokohama to Nikko, it takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes by express train. The places visited on this journey are dotted along the way.