Tochigi Prefecture Guide
Explore UNESCO World Heritage temples and museums. Soak away aches in the onsen - hot springs - Japan is famous for. Taste the sublime delights of local cuisine, from the comfortable to the adventurous. Refresh your spirit in the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and rivers of Tochigi. In the center of Japan’s main island, Tochigi is within a short 1-2 hour trip from Tokyo. With 125 golf courses in the region, its the perfect place to play in the morning and then take the rest of the day to head out on an adventure.
What to do
We’ll begin with the world heritage site of Nikko, a wonderland of things to do and see in Tochgi. Take a trip to Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura. It’s a culture and amusement park that gives you a rare glimpse into the Edo era of old Japan. Enjoy workshops, games, and the theatrics of samurai, geisha, ninja and more. Explore the Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, including 5 structures which house the famous wooden sculpture of 3 monkeys (speak, see and hear no evil).
High up in the mountains above Nikko, the Kegon Falls at Lake Chuzenji are a very popular tourist destination, and for good reason. The main fall is about 318 feet high (about 97 meters), and you can also see about twelve smaller waterfalls in the area. Japan’s Ministry of the Environment lists Kegon as one of Japan’s 3 most beautiful falls. The Falls offer breathtaking vistas and the local cuisine is some of the best in Japan.
To the east lies Mashiko, famous for its pottery and art visitors can try their hand at creating some Japanese pottery (harder than it looks) and enjoy the perfect place to purchase some souvenirs, there is also some heavy hitting golf coiurses in this area including Mashiko CC and Haga CC.
Wining and Dining
With some of the most fertile land in the Kanto plain, Tochigi is famous for delicious produce. its a favourite of Tokyoites to escape the cithy and spend a few days in one of the many Ryokan eating Kaiseki (Seasonal dishes prepared in a set) Worthy of note is Tochigi beef which is simply delicious and whispered to be as good as its rivals in Kobe!
A populart spot in the Ashikaga region is the Coco Winbe Farm which has a restaurant and tasting room, it also alows the public to take part in the harvest in early October.
When to go?
The weather in tochigi is temperate and does allow year-round golf for the most part, however there is snow in the highland regions in winter, so it can be possible to combine ski and golf in a single trip with less than an hours drive in between, It can also get hot in the summer but the courses are really in their best condition at this time. The Kouyou or fall foilage viewing season is undoubtedly a great time to travel as Tochigi is home to many forests and with the mountains changing to reds and browns it really is beautiful.
If you travel to Tochigi in the Spring or Fall, and you’re interested in Japanese ceramics, you’re in for a treat. At a quick 45 minutes by train from Tokyo Station, the town of Mashiko has held a Pottery Fair since 1966. Visitors come from across Japan and around the world to travel to this pottery center and enjoy the 380 different styles of pottery being produced. You’ll see ancient designs, as well as modern options.