The best part of sightseeing in Tochigi Prefecture: A travel guide to enjoy historic ancient roads and local gourmet food

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[From Little-Known Spots to Sights] Thorough Explanation by a Female Travel WEB Writer for the Amazing Views and Charms of Tochigi Prefecture!

The unknown charm of Tochigi Prefecture, a perspective from my own experience

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Encounter with Tochigi Prefecture: First Footsteps

My first visit to Tochigi was several years ago when I decided to travel through Japan’s 47 prefectures. While many people were fascinated by Kyoto and Tokyo, I traveled to various places in search of the hidden charms of Japan. Tochigi Prefecture is one of them. The first thing I felt was the rich nature of this prefecture and the atmosphere of good old Japan.

Nikko’s history and culture

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Speaking of Tochigi Prefecture, the first thing that comes to mind is Nikko Toshogu Shrine. When I actually visited, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful sculptures and magnificent architecture. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is designated as a national special historic site, and its value is immeasurable.

Also, in Nikko, I was healed by “Nikko no Yukemuri Onsen”. There are many hot spring resorts in Japan, but the hot springs here in Nikko have the best hospitality and effects among the ones I have visited.

Sweets Culture in Tochigi Prefecture

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Tochigi Prefecture is famous for its delicious strawberries, but in fact, the Tochiotome variety accounts for 30% of the strawberry sales in Japan on average. When I actually tried “Tochiotome”, it was sweet and juicy, and I could say that it was the king of fruits.

In addition, Tochigi Prefecture has a region-limited sweet called “Tochigi Lemon Milk”. This is a refreshing dessert made with local lemons, and many tourists enjoyed it when I visited.

The Charm of Tochigi’s Handicrafts

In Tochigi Prefecture, the production of leather products is thriving. In particular, what is called “Tochigi leather” is used by domestic and foreign brands due to its high quality. I actually got my hands on an original leather product at a shop called “ABC Leather”. Its texture and comfort are different from any other leather products, and it is an important item in our daily lives.

Hidden sights and exquisite gourmet food in Tochigi Prefecture

  Enjoying the Amazing View: The Beauty of Lake Chuzenji

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Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture has not only historical buildings and hot springs, but also magnificent nature. In particular, “Lake Chuzenji” is a representative place. The view of the mountain range looking up from the lakeside and the scenery of autumn leaves reflected on the surface of the lake are engraved as one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Cruising around the lake by boat is also recommended. You can enjoy the feeling of sliding on the surface of the water and the beautiful scenery of the four seasons at once.

Tochigi’s Gourmet: Utsunomiya, the City of Gyoza

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Have you ever heard of “Utsunomiya gyoza”? Utsunomiya City in Tochigi Prefecture is also known as the “City of Gyoza” because there are many famous gyoza restaurants. On average, Utsunomiya residents are said to eat over 2,000 dumplings per year, and this figure shows how popular gyoza is.

At Utsunomiya Gyoza no Ie, I also enjoyed delicious gyoza, as the name suggests. The skin is thin and the filling inside is juicy.

Traditional craft: Mashiko ware

Tochigi Prefecture is also known as the land of traditional pottery. “Mashiko ware” is especially famous among them. Just looking at the warm handmade tableware and the colorfully painted items will soothe your soul. I actually tried hand forming at the “Mashiko Pottery Studio”. It was a lot of fun to make my own original pottery, and it was also a time to reaffirm the charm of Mashiko ware.

A comfortable stay in Tochigi and how to get there

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A comfortable stay: Nikko Kanaya Hotel

The Nikko Kanaya Hotel, located in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, has welcomed many tourists and celebrities as a prestigious hotel with a sense of history. When I stayed once, I was impressed by the retro yet modern facilities, and above all by the warm hospitality of the staff.

The view from the room is also the best, and you can enjoy the seasonal scenery of Nikko. Especially the breakfast buffet, which uses plenty of fresh local ingredients, is one of the best meals in my memory.

How to get there: easy and convenient transportation

Access to Tochigi Prefecture is very convenient from central Tokyo. On average, if you use the Shinkansen or limited express, you will arrive at the main sightseeing spots in Tochigi Prefecture in about an hour and a half. In particular, the Nikko line allows direct access from Tokyo to Nikko, and is used by many tourists.

Local buses and the taxi service “Tochigi Travel Taxi” are also convenient for traveling between sightseeing spots. If you make a reservation in advance, you can move smoothly from your desired location to your destination.

Ending the Trip: Selecting Souvenirs in Tochigi Prefecture

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At the end of your trip, choosing souvenirs to bring back the charm of the land is essential. In Tochigi Prefecture, various items such as “Tochigi’s handmade cookies”, “Mashiko ware accessories”, and the aforementioned “Utsunomiya gyoza” frozen packs are popular. Among the many souvenirs I choose, I especially recommend the “Tochigi leather key holder”. It is popular as an item that allows you to feel the charm of Tochigi in your daily life.

Tochigi Prefecture is a place filled with a variety of attractions, including its history, culture, nature, and gourmet food. What I have introduced is just a small part of it. By all means, please visit once and experience its charm yourself. The deep charm of Tochigi Prefecture will surely be carved into your heart.

Five Selected Historic Buildings in Tochigi Prefecture Selected by Kasumi

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Tochigi Prefecture is dotted with many historical buildings, each of which has a deep history and culture. This time, I would like to introduce five historical buildings in Tochigi Prefecture that particularly impressed me. Each building is also accompanied by a “Kasumi Point”, so please refer to it.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Nikko City)

Kasumi Point: Nikko Toshogu Shrine is known as the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, and its splendid carvings and decorations are a highlight. Especially the sculpture of “three wise monkeys” fascinates the viewer. Many treasures and important cultural properties are preserved on the premises, and you can deeply feel the history and culture of Nikko.

Five-storied stone pagoda in Amagafuchi rhododendron (Utsunomiya City)

Kasumi Point: This five-storied stone pagoda stands in harmony with the nature of Amagafuchi. Along with the scenery of each season, you can feel its historical value, and you will be fascinated by its beauty especially when the rhododendron flowers bloom.

Kurobane Castle Ruins (Kurobane Town)

Kasumi Point: Kurobane Castle once played an important role as a key point in the Kanto region. Today, it is visited by many tourists as a castle ruin. You can feel the size and strength of the castle at that time from the remains of the stone wall and moat.

The three-storied pagoda of Saihoji Temple (Kanuma City)

Kasumi Point: This three-storied pagoda, which is said to have been built in the Kamakura period, is one of the rare historical buildings in Tochigi Prefecture. Its simple yet majestic appearance has captivated many people throughout the ages.

Ruins of Ashio Copper Mine (Nikko City)

Kasumi Point: The remains of the Ashio Copper Mine, which supported the modernization of Japan, is a place where you can feel the weight of its history. Even now that it has finished its role as a copper mine, it is loved by many tourists as a spot where you can remember its history and people’s lives.

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These historical buildings are precious places where you can feel the deep history and culture of Tochigi Prefecture. Please visit once and experience its charm.