Experience 19th century Britain here in Nikko!
After 120 years, the former British Embassy Villa opened its doors to the public as the British Embassy Villa Memorial Park on 1 July 2016. Ernest Satow, a British diplomat who contributed Japan’s Meiji Restoration, built a private villa at the south bank of the Lake Chuzenji in 1896. He loved Oku-Nikko, especially Lake Chuzenji as the area reminded him of the natural landscape of his home country. The villa was used as the British Embassy summer residence until 2008 before being donated to Tochigi prefecture in 2010 to be opened to the general public.
In the early years of the villa, Satow’s friend Isabella Bird stayed here for a month and wrote of the impressive landscape of the villa.
The British Embassy Villa Memorial Park presents exhibitions on British culture and the history of Oku-Nikko as an international summer resort. Visitors can lose themselves in this historic setting while enjoying teatime in the villa (additional charges apply) and Satow’s favourite picturesque view of Lake Chuzenji from the spacious veranda on the upper floor.
Please note that the nearby Italian Embassy Villa Memorial Park introduced admission fees from 1 April 2016, to provide better services and information on the nature, history and culture of the international summer resorts.