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  • See & Do
  • Nikko Area

Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park

  • History
  • Culture
  • Nature

An elegant villa by the Lake Chuzenji

From the mid Meiji to the early Showa periods, the area around Lake Chuzenji was home to foreign embassies and villas and flourished as summer resorts. The villa was built as a summer house for the Italian ambassador in 1928 and used by successive ambassadors until 1997. Along with the main building reconstructed with the original floor, fittings and furniture, the cottage is now open to the public as a history museum of the local international summer resorts. In addition to the buildings, the park pleases the eye with a lovely view of Lake Chuzenji.

The villa was designed by Czech architect Antonin Raymond (1888-1976). Raymond moved to the United States when he was 22 years old where he took up architecture. His first visit to Japan was during the New Year’s period in 1919-20 to work on the project of the Imperial Hotel with his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright.
Raymond was advised by local craftsmen on traditional architectural materials. He made a good use of the local Nikko cedar on the walls and his chequered design creates a beautifully modern exterior to the two-storey wooden villa. The whole ceiling of the ground floor was made with cedar bark by wickerwork, a popular technique in the traditional Japanese Sukiya style of architecture. The space of the living room and study is skilfully divided by wickerwork patterns.

Location Map

Basic Information

Address 2848, Chugushi, Nikko city, Tochigi prefecture
Telephone Number 0288-55-0880(Nikko Natural Science Museum)
Website https://www.nikko-nsm.co.jp/en/italy.html
Business Hours 9:00 - 16:00 April
9:00 - 17:00 May to 10 November
9:00 - 16:00 11 to 30 November
Days Closed for Business Closed on Mondays in April.
Price Adults 300yen
Children (4-15 years old) 150yen
Combination tickets with British Embassy Villa Memorial Park : Adults 450 yen, Children (4-15 years old) 200 yen
DIRECTIONS 50 minutes from Nikko Station or Tobu-Nikko Station by buses bound for Chuzenji Onsen/Yumoto Onsen to Chuzenji Onsen bus stop. From there, it is a 40-minute walk.
Map Code 947 208 618*68

Nikko Area

The Nikko area, in the northwestern part of the prefecture, is particularly mountainous. In the midst of the rich nature, including the 2,486-meter-high volcano Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Falls, there are numerous shrines and temples that are registered as UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites. From Kinugawa Onsen to Kawaji Onsen, hot springs can also be found throughout the area. There are a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy as well, such as stand-up paddleboarding in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

Seasons in Tochigi