Located about two hours north of Tokyo, Ashikaga city is most famous for the stunning Ashikaga Flower park that boasts beautiful seasonal displays and award-winning special winter illumination.
Other attractions and activities include the Bannaji Temple (built in the 12th century), kimono renting, wine tasting, and indigo dyeing where you can make your own souvenir.
Ashikaga is the birthplace of the Ashikaga clan, a shogun family in the Muromachi Period from 1336 until 1573. These quiet, stone-paved streets hold a lot of history including Ashikaga Gakko, which is said to be the oldest school in Japan.
While you’re in the area, we suggest trying the local soba that is special because flavouring is added directly to the soba dough. If you prefer to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, why not dine at Coco Farm and Winery where you can either sit down at the restaurant for a meal or simply enjoy a wine tasting on their scenic veranda.
Famous for their wisteria and winter illuminations, Ashikaga flower park is beautiful to walk around at all times of year. Their 8 seasonal flower displays are ever changing and with lots to see you could easily spend a few hours here enjoying the flowers and taking lots of photos.
Visit Ashikaga Orimono Densyokan textile museum where you can try your hand at making your own small textiles. Or visit Kurita Museum which displays the finest and largest collections of Imari and Nabeshima porcelain in the world.
Ashikaga has historic shrines and temples to visit including the Zen Buddhist Temple, Bannaji, which is one of the best preserved temples in Japan and Orihime shrine which overlooks Ashikaga from the top of Mt Orihime.
This local vineyard produces high-quality wine which you can enjoy in their restaurant, tasting room or you can purchase wine from their shop to take home with you.
Create your own indigo-dyed souvenir using this ancient Japanese technique. Instructors are available to help in both Japanese and English.
For more details and info for how to book see AIROZA INDIGO below.
This National Historic site is known as the oldest university in Japan. Many of the wooden buildings were restored in the 1990’s including the former student living quarters, classrooms, and the library.
Right next to Ashikaga flower park is Ashikaga Agri-land, where you can enjoy strawberry picking from late December to May. With Tochigi being well known for their strawberries, it’s a great local activity.
We’ve created a special online guide about Ashikaga City to help overseas visitors explore Ashikaga.
Click the image or the button below to discover more!
The local speciality of Ashikaga is Jyagaimo iri Yakisoba (Potato Yakisoba), Sauce Katsudon (Deep-Fried Breaded Pork Bowl with Worcestershire-Based Sauce), and soba. Ashikaga has many restaurants to choose from.
Ashikaga offers a wide range of food, from refined steak houses to local food trucks. If you plan to visit Ashikaga’s Coco Farm Winery, we recommend having lunch at their nice western-style restaurant.
The giant purple wisteria of Ashikaga flower park has inspired many local businesses to create Wisteria-themed sweets (and some skin care products). Check out Ashikaga flower park or local souvenir shops to find them.
A small European style restaurant with delicious homemade food prepared with local ingredients hand-picked by our chef.
There are many western-style budget hotels in Ashikaga. Here area a few.
This comfortable and clean hotel is about 2 km away from Orihime Shrine. 24 hour check in and bicycle rental available.
R9 THE YARD ASHIKAGA
This is a brand new hotel and each room is a single container that offers a lot of privacy.
There are a few nice holiday homes and airbnbs available in the area.
There is a popular guesthouse in the center of the city. As well as bunkbeds there are some Japanese tatami rooms suitable for a group of 2-3people on a budget.
Type: Western Style Business Hotel
Location: 4 min drive from JR Tochig Station. (located in city center)
Location: 4 min drive from JR Tochigi station. (located by the river in city center)
Type: Holiday rental
Location: 12 min drive from Mashiko station