Tochigi is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshu, Japan, surrounded by mountains to the east, west and north. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.
The prefecture is well known for its many historical buildings and shrines, art galleries and numerous rivers.
Nikko city, one of Japan’s most famous tourist attractions is located in Tochigi Prefecture.
- UTSUNOMIYA CITY
- Utsunomiya is the largest city in the northern Kanto district. The cultural, political and economic center of the prefecture is home to about 440,000 people.
Utsunomiya is most known in Japan as the Gyoza (Chinese dumpling) Capital. There are over 200 gyoza specialty shops in the city, each competing to make the tastiest dumplings. A gyoza statue stands in front of Utsunomiya Station.
If you would like to sample some of Japan’s finest gyoza offerings, we recommend Utsunomiya.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- [Some of Tochigi’s main attractions include]
Located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, the city is a popular destination for local and international tourists.
Nikko’s 103 shrines and temples where registered as a World Heritage site in December 1999.
The temple area in Nikko consists of the three main temples: Toshogu, Rinnoji, and Futarasan and numerous smaller ones. Unlike most Japanese temples and shrines, Nikko’s buildings are extremely showy decorated with multicolored carvings and plenty of gold leaves, showing a heavy Chinese influence.
Toshogu Shrine is the main attraction of Nikko. Established in 1617, the shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate .
It consist of more than a dozen buildings set in a beautiful forest.
Beautiful for some and maybe too gaudy for others, Toshogu is a riot of color, gold and carvings of birds and flowers, dancing maidens, and sages following one another around the buildings.
Keon Falls. At 97 m high, it is one of Japan's three highest waterfalls.
Lake Chūzenji is a beautiful lake created over 20,000 years ago. The lake can be visited throughout all 4 seasons: In spring, cherry blossoms are blooming. In summer, people can escape the heat and enjoy bird watching and hiking. In fall of course, there are the famous beautiful autumn leaves and in winter there is the Snow and Ice Festival, plus winter sports like skiing and skating.
Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, a Japanese cultural theme park located in the Kinugawa Onsen area of Nikkō, resurrects and showcases the life and culture of the Edo period.
It has seven theaters featuring various traditionally themed shows including plays, Ninja action and Oiran shows combined with outdoor live shows, street performances, parades, seasonal festivals and special events. Edo Wonderland also has a range of visitor experiences for adults and children including Ninja workshops, Japanese traditional archery and Shuriken throwing.
The Nasu Kogen (Nasu Highland) region is home to numerous "attractions", including a Monkey Park, Teddy Bear Museum, Car Museum and Animal Kingdom, where pets can be rented by the hour.
Some of Japan’s best onsen (hot springs) are found in Tochigi. With approximately 630 hot springs, each with its own source of spring water , Tochigi has been a favorite destination for many local and foreign tourists for many years. Some of the best hot springs and resorts are:
Shiobara Hot Spring and Kinugawa onsen.
- GETTING THERE
- By airplane
Fukushima Airport is approximately an hour's drive from Utsunomiya on the Tōhoku Expressway. International and domestic air transportation is through Narita International Airport to the east of Tokyo.
Tochigi is located approximatively 100 km from Tokyo. It can be reached after just a 50 minutes bullet train ride from Tokyo.
It can be reached after just a 90 minutes drive from Tokyo.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone with big variations in temperature, with hot and humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is heavy in the summer wet season, especially from July to September, and it is noticeably drier in the winter months from December to February.
The average August temperature is 32 °C, while the average January temperature is −1 °C.
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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