History / Culture / Tour Spots in Tochigi Area

  • Nikko Toshogu Shrine
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    4.5
    3341 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
    A shrine located in Sannai, Nikko City. It was founded in 1617 as a shrine dedicated to the Tosho Daigongen (Tokugawa Ieyasu). There are many buildings including eight National Treasures and 34 Important Cultural Properties in the shrine grounds as well as the beautifully adorned and richly colored carvings of the Three Wise Monkeys—Mizaru, Iwazaru and Kikazaru (see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil)—and the Nemuri-neko (sleepy cat) attributed to Hidari Jingoro. Nikko Toshogu is also registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko.

    Toshogu Shrine is a magnificent memorial to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled Japan for over 250 years. The lavishly decorated shrine complex consists of more than a...

  • Ohya History Museum
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    4.5
    598 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Utsunomiyashi Oyamachi 909
    This museum is at the site of a former quarry in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. Apart from introducing guests to the history of Oya stone mining and its techniques, it displays tools used for hand excavation between Japan’s feudal era and the 1950s in its exhibition hall. At a depth of 30 meters, the quarry spans a vast 20 thousand square meters, producing a mysterious world like an underground temple or the inside of a pyramid. It is also used as a location for shooting films and television dramas, as well as a concert venue.

    We decided to go here because it was very different from the normal touristy attractions. But let me tell you it didn’t disappoint the way it is set up is amazing. Lights set in such a way to enhance...

  • Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park
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    4.5
    328 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Honchou 8-27
    This is a Tochigi prefectural urban park which was landscaped in 1899 as a place of convalescence for Emperor Taisho. One part of the former Akasaka homestead of the Edo daimyo, Kishu Tokugawa was moved to its current location at the wealthy person’s villa which formerly existed here. Even after that, additional buildings were added but the overall harmony was retained. The building has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, and it is possible to tour the interior of the building. You can enjoy the various scenery from season to season starting with the 400-year-old weeping cherry tree in the garden.

    The Villa is very well maintained and surprisingly large. Not as old as some in Japan but full of traditional architecture and styling. The gardens are beautifully maintained and well worth a wander...

  • Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine
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    4.0
    277 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Utsunomiya-shi Baba Dori 1-1-1
    This shrine to the 2,486-meter-high sacred mountain Mt. Futaara is also the tutelary shrine of Nikko. The temple's massive precinct covers some 3,400 hectares that includes the Nikko Mountains, which are part of Nikko National Park, as well as the Kegon Falls, the descending Irohazaka route, and Shinkyo Bridge, an important cultural asset.

    This ancient shrine is in middle of city, and is pretty peaceful as well. Need to climb a few stairs to reach the top, isnt much of a problem for anyone with average health. The compound is also...

  • The site of Ashikaga School
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    4.0
    210 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Ashikagashi Shouheichou 2338
    These are the ruins of Ashikaga School—said to be the oldest school in Japan—which was abandoned in 1872. The original building has been reconstructed and designated as a Japan Heritage. It is open to the public, so you can see where students studied back during the earliest days of education in Japan.

    Being the oldest university of Japan this is a true marvel of Japanese culture and heritage. Beautiful and tranquil.

  • Ashio Copper Mine
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    4.0
    127 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Ashiomachitsudou 9-2
    The Ashio Copper Mine in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture was once the mining capital of Japan. It supplied the nation’s copper industry for about 400 years until closure. A portion of the mine is open to visitors, and a trolley train lets you tour the inside and learn about the mining industry through the ages, the history of the mines, and the mining process.

    The Ashio Copper Mine operated for more than 300 years before it was closed in 1973 and produced more copper than any other mine in Japan. Visitors ride a little train into the mine and then walk...

  • Soshuji Temple (Sanoyakuyoke-daishi)
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    3.5
    142 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Sanoshi Kanaikamichou 2233
    Sanoyakuyoke-daishi is the popular name of this Tendai Buddhist temple in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture. The name was made famous via TV commercials. A protective statue of the priest Ryogen is installed, so the temple has become associated with warding off misfortune. It’s one of the three main Tendai temples of the Kanto region for improving your luck, so every New Year’s Day people pour in for Hatsumode, the first prayers of the New Year.

    I live only minutes from this temple, and get to walk by it every day. Its a beautiful structure, bright red with gold peaks that glow in the afternoon sun. The grounds are small but peaceful and...

  • Ashikaga Orihime Shrine
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    4.0
    124 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Ashikaga-shi Nishinomiya Cho 3889
    "This Shinto shrine is sung of in the ""Ashikaga Ondo,"" a song about the local area: ""If you come to Ashikaga / Look for Orihime's red shrine / Clatter-thump-thump / Clatter-thump / Ashikaga, town of pictures / Town of machinery."" Boasting history and traditions stretching back 1,300 years, the shrine is seen as the guardian shrine of the textile town of Ashikaga. The current main shrine building, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2017, was rebuilt in 1937 after its predecessor was destroyed in a fire in 1880. From the crimson-lacquered shrine, visitors can get a sweeping view of the Kanto Plain. In 2014, the shrine was designated a Lover's Sanctuary and was also selected for inclusion in the Japan Nightscape Heritage list."

    Being the most scenic temples of Japan this is a true marvel of Japanese culture and heritage. Beautiful and tranquil.

  • Honda Collection Hall
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    4.5
    73 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi ken Haga-gun Mogi-cho Hayama 120-1
    "The Honda Collection Hall is a museum of Honda products located within the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack, around 30 minutes' drive from the Mito-Kita Smart Interchange on the Joban Expressway. The main focus is on Honda's motorcycles and cars; the second floor exhibits present the history of Honda's commercial products, while the third floor charts the development of Honda's involvement in motor sport. The first floor has the ""ASIMO Super Live"" zone, where visitors can see a functioning ASIMO robot. Special exhibitions are held throughout the year, and the ""Pit Workshop,"" housed in a separate building, has a range of experience-type activities that visitors can enjoy, including vehicle assembly and part-changing activities."

    We had rented a car to get up to Nikko from Tokyo and being fans of car culture decided to stop at both Tsukuba and Motegi. I was aware of the Honda Collection Hall so I knew it would be worth going...

  • Nikkosan  Chuzen-ji Temple
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    4.0
    93 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2578
    This temple belonging to the Tendai sect located near Lake Chuzenji in Nikko City is a branch temple of Nikko Rinnoji Temple. It began when Shodo Shonin, the founder of the Nikkozan religious sites witnessed Senju-kannon (the thousand arm Kannon goddess) appearing on the lake and carved an image of the Kannon in a standing tree or “tachiki,” which became the principal object of worship at the temple. It is the eighteenth temple in the Bando pilgrimage circuit (comprised of 33 Kannon temples in the Kanto region). People worship the Tachiki Kannon in the hondo (main temple building) as the shoganjoju Buddha, which is believed to grant people’s requests of various kinds, and the mido hall which enshrines Hashiridaikokuten is often visited by people praying for safe childbirth, the return of runaway family members, and to prevent their partner from having an affair.

    There is a very famous and historical big statue of Buddhist Goddess of Mercy with Thousand Arms, which is called Senju Kannon in Japan. This temple registered in UNESCO. When i went here, i was so...

  • Nasu Onsen Shrine
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    4.0
    124 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nasugunnasumachi Yumoto 182
    "This shrine in Nasu County, Tochigi Prefecture enshrines Shinto deities including Onamuchi no Mikoto. It is famous for its historical ties to the samurai warrior Nasu no Yoichi and for being a so-called ""power spot (spiritual place with energy vortex)."" The shrine is also well-known for having number of items that supposedly grant prayers and wishes, such as the Yamato Sazareishi boulder, the Atago Fukushinsui spring, and the shrine's sacred tree. It is visited by many tourists sightseeing Nasu."

    Super nice drive up to the onsen resort and the shrine. Lots of local lore, and an incredibly haunting place, especially those gizo statues at the bottom of the valley. Breathtaking.

  • Iwashita New Ginger Museum
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Tochigishi Honchou 1-25
    The New Ginger Museum, is designed around the pickled ginger, which is a household brand. Entrance is free. The museum houses a corner introducing the history of new ginger, and a Ginger Shrine said to endear married and courting couples to each other, as well as various creative recipes for using new ginger. The annexed cafe, as well as the new ginger souvenirs are also popular.

    The museum was smaller than we expected, but still packed with all the cuteness and information wed hoped for. Note that nothing is in English. Not that it should be, but it did surprise us and...

  • Takino Jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    119 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2310-1
    Associated with Futarasan Jinja Shrine, this shrine is located approximately one kilometer from the main shrine. Tagorihime-no-Mikoto, the princess of Onamuchi-no-Mikoto, is enshrined here. The shrine is encompassed by a fence and is built in a quiet space amidst the trees where Tagorihime is said to have descended to earth. Sights to see include the Kodane-ishi, where visitors offer prayers for conception and easy childbirth, the Enmusubi-no-Sasa, and the Undameshi-no-torii, a stone torii gate where it is customary to try your luck tossing stones through the small hole near the top. Shiraito Falls located nearby is also a must-see.

    We did the temples, shrines and the Imperial Villa, but this was the best thing we did in Nikko. The trail starts near the Shinkyo Sacred Bridge and proceeds up the mountain past the Toshogu Shrine...

  • Matsugamine Catholic Church
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    4.0
    104 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Utsunomiyashi Matsugamine 1-1-5
    This church is located in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. Built from Oya-ishi stone, the church is known as being one of the largest Romanesque buildings still in existence. It has also been chosen as a national Registered Tangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government. Visitors can tour the church and its grounds. The church is not just visited by many tourists; it is also used as a venue for weddings and other events by locals.

    This church is built with stones from the Oya Quarry. Othere than its stones relevance, the church is just like any other modern churches. The church is within a short walking distance from Tobu...

  • Nasu Teddy Bear Museum
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    4.0
    56 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nasugunnasumachi Takaku Hei 1185-4
    This teddy bear museum is located in Takakuhei, Nasu Town. You’ll find a collection that includes “artist bears” based on artists from around the world, as well as antique bears and Teddy Edward, the teddy bear that has traveled the most around the world. There are also planned exhibitions. In addition, there’s a museum shop with a variety of teddy bear goods, as well as a tea room with teddy bear-themed menu items.

    Great for family with small children, touch of Americana, Ghibli studio, cute gift shop. Relax in the teddy bear cafe,

  • Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art / Ceramic Art Messe Mashiko
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    4.0
    57 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Hagagunmashikomachi Mashiko 3021
    The Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art and Ceramic Art Messe Mashiko are located around 20 minutes' drive from the Sakuragawa-Chikusei Interchange of the Kita-Kanto Expressway, via the Tomobe Junction of the Joban Expressway. The Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art features works by the late Mr. Shoji Hamada, who was a designated Living National Treasure, as well as works by other ceramists associated with the town of Mashiko. On the same site, there are also the Sasajima Kihei Hall, which has permanent exhibitions of works by the printmaker Kihei Sasajima, who studied under Shiko Munakata, and the Mashiko Arts & Crafts Residence, which hosts artists-in-residence from all over the world as part of an international exchange program. Shoji Hamada's House, which has been designated as a Cultural Property by the town of Mashiko, includes a reconstruction of the climbing kiln that Mr. Hamada used.

    This meseum is modern and is very nice and clean and very friendly to English visitor. The art that are on displays changes every 3 to 4 months so its always good to go back and visit to see what is...

  • Tochigi Science Museum
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    4.5
    42 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Utsunomiyashi Nishikawatamachi 567
    This science museum is located in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. It has many fun exhibits for children to familiarize themselves with science. The exhibition hall has six areas designed with the theme, ʻScience All Around You.ʼ Many of the exhibits, including the popular science station on the second floor, are made to educate the children by seeing, touching, and experiencing the science. A family can leisurely enjoy the science museum, which also has a planetarium, and an area for rides.

    Great adventure for the kids, full of fascinating exhibits, hands-on activities, and excellent demonstrations. There are some explanations in English, and the exhibits are interesting even without...

  • Mibumachi Toy Museum
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    4.0
    26 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Shimotsugagunmibumachi Kuniya 2300
    "This toy museum is located in the Mibu-Machi Comprehensive Park, and has a cute appearance reminiscent of a medieval castle. The museum houses play areas with slides and play equipment with net, etc. and also displays approximately 9,000 valuable toys, including those made of tin plate. You will also find a corner where you can actually play with toys, a corner where you can create your own original ""Licca-chan"" doll, and a ""Railway Model Room"" with one of the largest dioramas in the north Kanto region, making this museum a place where both adults and children can have great fun all day long."

    More suitable to toddles age 2-5. For grade 1 onwards children not really suitable and bored . Not much food around that area . Toys to play are limited . It’s good for raining day .

  • Kanaya Hotel History House (Samurai Residence)
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    4.5
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Honchou 1-25
    The Kanaya Samurai House and warehouse were registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property in 2014 and opened to the public as the Kanaya Hotel History House in 2015. The buildings have been preserved for over 140 years in the same location. It is a valuable Historical Cultural Property portraying the type of accommodation facility used for non-Japanese, opened by a young man who lived in Nikko in the early Meiji period. It is approximately nine minutes by car from Nikko Interchange on the Nikko Utsunomiya Road.

    金谷ホテルの前身である金谷カッテージ・インは、現在歴史館として一般公開されている。 明治に入り、外国人向けの民宿として改築されたが、江戸時代の武家屋敷としての構造が随所に残されている。階としては2階建てであるものの、部屋によっては1階と2階の中間に位置したり、階段も複雑に配置されていたりと、さながら小規模な忍者屋敷のようであるが、いずれも家人や客を素早く逃がしたり外敵を攻撃するための構造の一つとな...

  • Ryumon Furusato Mingeikan
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    4.0
    65 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Nasukarasuyama-shi Taki 414
    "This craft hall is located near Ryumon Waterfall, said to be the home of a dragon. The hall's terrace and observatory offer a sweeping view of the fall. The hall contains dragon-themed exhibits and also introduces local folk tales and legends via animated movies, and visitors can come in contact with stories handed down in the Karasuyama area as well as the legend of the dragon of Ryumon Waterfall. It is said you will find love and experience increased luck if you pray to the dragon figure in the hall's ""dragon cave."" The hall is a five-minute walk from Taki Station. The hall also sells local specialty prodcuts."

    Ryumon Waterfall which means Dragon Gate falls is a beautiful water fall easily accessible from Taki Station and a designated car park. There is a path that leads down to the river and towards a...

Tochigi Areas

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Most visits to Tochigi revolve around Nikko, a small city home to the spectacular, lavishly decorated Toshogu Shrine and Nikko National Park with its mountains, lakes, waterfalls, onsen, and wild monkeys. Neighboring Oku-Nikko is an extension of the fantastic scenery famous for its autumn leaves, while Tochigi's capital, Utsunomiya, is the only place in the world where you can find oya stone beautifully exhibited in temples and the Oya History Museum.

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