Utsunomiya City

Highlights of Utsunomiya City

Utsunomiya City (宇都宮) is between Tokyo and Nikko (日光)  a UNESCO world heritage site further north in the mountains. When traveling back to Tokyo from Nikko with a JR pass, you need to change trains at Utsunomiya Station which is in the center of the city.  The vibrant nightlife with its famous JAZZ & Cocktails bars, many independent Japanese Izakaya bars and of cause trying the city’s most know dish Gyoza dumplings is an ideal way to end a day. Accommodation is very affordable so you can save money by choosing to stay a night here instead of Tokyo.

Other than Food & Nightlife, Utsunomiya is home to the Oya district, a stone town registered as a Japan Heritage. Visitors can learn about the mining the culture (and see where tanks were made during WW2) as well as visit to an ancient shrine with the oldest stone carved buddha in Japan.

Another very popular and recommended destination near Oya district is the Four Seasons Bamboo Forest Wakayama Farm (若山農園), the largest bamboo forest open to visitors in Japan!

During the year, there are many events in Utsunomiya not to miss. Sakura cherry blossoms in the spring and summer festivals and fireworks in the summer. Utsunomiya also hosts world sport events such as the Japan cup (Bicycle racing) and the 3×3 word basket ball championships.


From Tokyo

From Airports

Haneda Intl. Airport

Narita Intl. Airport

Ibaraki Airport

Main Stations

Videos of Utsunomiya City

Utsunomiya City Center

Spend an Enjoyable Day in Utsunomiya

Things to DO in Utsunomiya City

Delicious Gyoza at Kouran Gyoza shop in Utsunomiya

Go GYOZA hopping!

Utsunomiya is most known for Gyoza dumplings, Small dumplings filled with meat and vegetables (vegetarian options available at some restaurants). There are hundreds of restaurants, but if you need recommendations see our Utsunomiya night guide's TOP 5 Gyoza restaurants. 
Bar master mixing cocktails at Bar Chamonix in Utsunomiya

A night with JAZZ & COCKTAILS

Utsunomiya's JAZZ & Cocktails are also the best in Japan. It has one of the most award winning mixologists as well as home to many world famous Jazz musicians such as Sadao Watanabe (Sax) and Yoshio Toyama (Trumpet). To discover Utsunomiya's JAZZ and COCKTAIL venues see our Utsunomiya night guide's  TOP 7 Jazz Clubs & TOP5 Cocktail Barshere.
Live jazz playing at utsunomiya's indulz dreem

More Night Life !

Locals in Utsunomiya love eating out (they spend the most per capita in Japan!), so it is no surprise that there are some very nice independent Izakaya's and restaurants. For ideas of where to go, see our Utsunomiya night guide's 10 Things in Utsunomiya page.
Shinohara tei house near JR Utsunomiya Station

Walk around the city

From the city center you can hire a bicycle or catch a bus/taxi or even walk to visit the main attractions in the city center. Shinohara-tei, Futaarasan Shrine, and Gallery Hanna which was Hayao Miyazaki's childhood home are good places to visit.
Oya history museum (underground mine)

Visit Oya district

The stone city of Oya is a Japan heritage that produced stone for some world famous architectures. There is a popular museum (Oya history museum) , stone mine (Kanehon), cave shrine (Oyaji), walking tours (Oya Underground) as well as many excellent cafes to experience.  Close to Oya is Wakayama Bamboo Farm which is the largest well-kept bamboo forest open to the public in Japan. Very popular with overseas visitors!

Wakayama Farm

Entrance of Wakayama Bamboo Farm
Experience traditional Japan in Japan’s largest bamboo forest! Stroll through the bamboo groves, capture precious memories with photos, and enjoy a Kimono experience. Exciting bamboo-themed activities for kids too! Don’t miss the impressive view that rivals Kyoto!

Special articles and itineraries

Eat GYOZA in Utsunomiya

Travel Article

Winter Bamboo Illuminations

Travel Article

EATING in Utsunomiya City

Enjoy Gyoza (Utsunomiya is famous for it)

Utsunomiya has more than 300 Gyoza dumpling restaurants! And many are within walking distance from both JR and Tobu Utsunomiya stations. Have a look at the Top 5 Gyoza Restaurants we recommend in our Utsunomiya Night Guide.

Sip on delicious cocktails

After WW2, many Jazz and cocktail bars opened in Utsunomiya to cater for the allied forces in the area. 

Since then, Utsunomiya’s reputation continued to grow and now has the best bartenders and mixologists in all of Japan. Check out the TOP 5 cocktail bars in our Utsunomiya Night Guide.

From Fine Dining to small Izakayas

 Utsunomiya is a vibrant city with a population of half a million people so there are many restaurants and bars that cater for a wide range of needs. See below for as well as Utsunomiya night guide’s 10 Things in Utsunomiya page for ideas.

Samurai Jugemu

Colourful gyoza at Samurai Jyugemu in Utsunomiya
Take a bite at one of Utsunomiya’s best Gyoza restaurants. It’s famous for its variety and tasty flavors, so try to have as many as you can! All Gyozas are handmade and make the most of the all-natural ingredients.

Hachinojo Restaurant

Entrance of Hachinojo Restaurant
Enjoy an elegant dining experience at Hachinojo. Try their signature ‘Water Course’ (full-course meal) or other western style dishes and light meals such as delicious pizzas and pastas. Visit Hachinojo for an unforgettable gastronomic journey!

Places to STAY in Utsunomiya City

Western Style Hotels

There are many western style / business style hotels in Utsunomiya.

Budget Style Hotels

Utsunomiya has many affordable budget hotels near JR Utsunomiya Station


There are a few holiday homes / airbnbs near the center of Utsunomiya.

Top EVENTS around Utsunomiya City

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