While Tochigi Prefecture doesn’t have its own airport, at just 100 km from Tokyo, it is easily accessible from the capital in around one hour thanks to the JR Tohoku Shinkansen which offers direct access to the prefecture’s capital Utsunomiya as well as Oyama in the south and Nasu-Shiobara in the north. A good connection of local trains and buses open the door to the rest of the prefecture including various options for reaching the prefecture’s highlight, Nikko.
If you’re making your way around Japan on the handy JR Pass(Japan Rail Pass), the JR Tohoku Shinkansen is your passport into Tochigi Prefecture. From Tokyo Station, the bullet train takes passengers on an easy journey to three cities around Tochigi: Oyama can be reached in just 40 minutes; Utsunomiya in 50 minutes; and Nasu-Shiobara in 75 minutes. To continue onto Nikko, change at Utsunomiya and take the JR Nikko Line for a further 45 minutes.
For those who don’t have a JR Pass, save some yen on a more leisurely ride on the Limited Express Spacia and Revaty which takes you directly from Asakusa station in Tokyo to Tobu-Nikko Station or Kinugawa Onsen Station.
If you’re planning several train and bus journeys around the Nikko area and don’t have a JR Pass, take a look at the Tobu Railways Nikko Pass all area which will not only get you some free travel such as trains, buses, the Akechidaira Ropeway, and the Lake Chuzenji sightseeing cruise, but also discounted entry into Edo Wonderland and Tobu World Square.
If Tochigi Prefecture is your first destination on arriving into Japan, express buses from Narita or Haneda airports are one of the best ways to get there, not only for their affordable price tags but also for the views from the window as you speed past Tokyo and arrive into Tochigi. The Express Bus Marronnier shuttles passengers from Narita Airport directly to Utsunomiya in just 2 hours 30 minutes and to Nikko in 3 hours 45 minutes. The same bus is also available from Haneda Airport but just to Utsunomiya which takes 2 hours 50 minutes. Once you are in Nikko, the World Heritage Bus can be taken from Nikko Station to the major tourist sites.
For anyone with an international or Japanese driving permit, there’s undoubtedly no better way to get around Tochigi than by car. To enjoy a bit of Saitama along the way, you can start your journey in Tokyo where there is a huge choice of car rental options. However, car rental on arrival in Tochigi is sure to prove a calmer start to your journey. Rental around the station is the easiest option for pick-up and drop-off with Toyota, Nissan, Orix, and Times just a few companies offering affordable car rental.