Highlights of Tochigi City
In the Edo period (1603 to 1868), Tochigi city (栃木市) prospered from its location on the Uzumagawa River, which connected it with the capital, Edo (now Tokyo). At that time, envoys from the Tokugawa shogunate (feudal government of that time in Edo, now Tokyo) would travel through Tochigi via the Reiheishi-way to pay a visit to Shrines and Temples of Nikkō. Tochigi soon became a popular merchant town and successful traders went on to support world-famous artists such as Kitagawa Utamaro who went on to influence western artists of the 19th century such as Vincent van Gogh.
As the city escaped war damage during World War II, many of the historical temples, traditional shops and traditional storehouses remain for visitors to enjoy.
Tochigi city is also home to Mt. Ohira (大平山) know for its Hydrangea & Sakura festivals, as well as Watarase Yusuichi ( a retarding basin) protected under the Ramsar convention.
Top events around Tochigi City
Things to DO
Try an EDO Experience
As Tochigi was once a prospering Edo merchant town, it offers activities & experiences where visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture. Such as Wagashi making, Kimoto rental, Boat ride down the canal, traditional Incense making etc.
Go Fruit Picking
This region is known for its grapes and as well as its wide variety of fruits grown throughout the year. There are many farms open to the public where visitors can pay to pick fresh fruit.
Learn about Ukiyo-e
As mentioned above, Tochigi is home to world-famous ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro.
There are several museums in the center of the city where you can see ukiyo-e paintings from that era.
Relax in the best coffee shops
The younger generation of the town have started a trend of opening artisan coffee shops around the city using unused old buildings. New coffee shops are popping up all the time, so make sure to look out for some unique cafes when walking around!
Hike Mt. Ohira
20min drive from the city center is Mt. Ohira (341m). You can hike to the top using the may of its hiking trails. The best time to visit is Spring (Mt. Ohira’s Sakura cherry blossom), June (Mt. Ohira’s Hydrangea Festival) & Autumn to see the colourful autumn leaves.
Visit Watarase Yusuichi
Watarase Yusuichi (Watarase retarding basin) is a heart shaped basin where visitors can spot with many wild birds and nature protected by Ramsar Convention.
If you like thrilling activities, why not sign-up for a skydiving session from 4,000m above the basin! (The highest point of skydiving in Japan!)
Tonoike Sake Brewery
Yoshimura Straberry Park
Places to EAT
There are many Japanese restaurants. You can find Kaiseki (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner), Soba, Okonomiyaki, Izakaya style Japanese restaurants and more.
For lunch, why not stop by the trendy artisan coffee shops spread around Tochigi city. There is also a very popular Nepalese restaurant with tasty curry dishes as well as many European & themed restaurants.
Enjoy a Edo inspired meal
Tochigi is home to Tochigi Edoryori, which is a style of dishes that are inspired by ingredients and dishes popular in the city during the Edo period when Tochigi was a prosperous merchant city. (Photos of the restaurants/dishes)
A small European style restaurant with delicious homemade food prepared with local ingredients hand-picked by our chef.
Places to STAY
Ryokan (Japanese style)
There are a few traditional Japanese Ryokans.
There are several western style business hotels.
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.
Hotel Sunroute Tochigi
Type: Western Style Business Hotel
Location: 4 min drive from JR Tochig Station. (located in city center)
Guest House Kuranomachi
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