A little further south from Chuzenji Temple are the former villas of the British and Italian ambassadors to Japan. During the Meiji Restoration era several European nations built embassy villas along the shores of Lake Chuzenji and every summer the diplomats would move out here. Today the former British and Italian embassy villas are open to the public. The first one I reached was the British Embassy Villa. For a small fee you can enjoy some tea and sweets while looking out on Lake Chuzenji. A wave of fog was sweeping over the lake as I arrived, but I imagine this was a pretty nice house to live in during the summertime.
The Italian Embassy Villa is just a minute south of the British Embassy Villa. I didn’t go inside since I was trying to cover as much ground as possible that day, but I did go out on the small boat pier that extends out onto Lake Chuzenji. One of the regular sightseeing boats was cruising around the lake but with all the fog flowing over the water I don’t think the people on the boat could see too much. If I’m ever back at Lake Chuzenji on a sunny day I really ought to take one of the sightseeing boats, or maybe rent a boat from the marina at Chuzenjiko Onsen.