Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi/ 栃木市), with a population of 144,541 (December 1, 2011), is located about 80km north of Tokyo. The area is 284.83 km2 (109.97 sq mi) and is unique in character.

tochigi-city-tochigi-shi
Possessing cultural and social diversity, our city has flourished throughout its long history as an important regional hub. Each season provides a natural surrounding for scenic beauty.
Tochigi is sometimes called the “Little Kyoto” because of the many traditional homes and buildings found throughout the city. During the Edo period, it profited from the stream of cargo boats that passed through.
Nowadays, many of the homes have been converted into museums and the Uzumagawa River contains more than 100,000 carp. Weeping willows and white-walled homes still line the riverbank.
Kura no Machi Tochigi city
Kura no Machi Tochigi city

In fall the city celebrates the Tochigi Autumn Festival. One hundred-year-old decoration are pulled out of storage and displayed during the festival. Catching a glimpse of the festivities is something special, especially considering that it is only held every five years. If you’re looking for a quiet place to rest, simply climb the 1,000 steps lined with hydrangeas to Ohirasan Shrine. The gardens also contain many beautiful cherry trees.

In ancient times, Tochigi city was the governing seat of the Shimotsuke Province. In the pre-modern period, shipping on the Uzuma River and land traffic along the Nikko Reiheishi Highway allowed our city to thrive as a major economic and cultural center.

Weeping cherry blossoms at Taisanji Temple in Tochigi
Weeping cherry blossoms at Taisanji Temple in Tochigi

Built along the banks of Uzuma river (Uzumagawa), the city of Tochigi prospered in former times as loading and unloading points for the busy river trade, with boats carrying staples regularly making the three-day journey down to Edo, old Tokyo. Waterways were an essential means of transportation at that time. In addition, the materials used for constructing “the Toshogu Shrine” at Nikko were landed here. This made the city a major riverside port and brought prosperity as a commercial center.

Tochigi City Old Townscape Illuminated
Tochigi City Old Townscape Illuminated

Today, the Uzuma river is filled with many colorful carp and provides a vibrant walkway. We strive to promote our heritage and uniqueness. Many visitors now know our town as Kura-no-machi, or “Little Edo”.

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City Symbols

 

tochigi_city_emblem

City Emblem: The emblem is comprised of two crosses, a vertical cross, and a diagonal cross. The vertical cross represents the Chinese character for ten or “toh”. The diagonal cross is a symbol found on the roof of Shinmei Shrine and is called “chigi”. There are ten “chigi” on the shrine, thus resulting in the name of our city, “Tochigi”.

City Tree: Japanese horse chestnut tree (Tochi-no-ki in Japanese)

City Flower: Azaleas (Satsuki in Japanese)

Transportation to the Tochigi City

transportation_to_the_tochigi_city
From Narita by train
1) Take the Skyliner train to Ueno station (57 mins)- change lines to Ginza line (subway) to Asakusa, the end of the line (6mins) – take Tobu Nikko line to Tochigi station (74 mins).
2) Take Narita Express train to Tokyo station (59 mins)- take JR Yamanote line to Ueno station ( 5mins)- take Tohoku Shinkansen(bullet train) to Oyama (45mins) – take JR Ryomo line to Tochigi (11mins).

From Narita by bus
There are buses going to Sano City (south of Tochigi) , or Utsunomiya (capital of the prefecture) from Narita airport. (About 3 hours)

  • Tochigi City River and Streets:

    Uzuma River

     

    uzuma_river_city_of_tochigi

    More than ten thousand carp can be seen in the Uzuma River, which runs through the city. In the old days, this river had a very important transportation role on the way to Nikko from Edo, Tokyo. Today, the colorful carp warm the hearts and bring happiness to citizens and visitors alike.

    Kencho Bori

    kencho_bori_tochigi_city
    The old moat was constructed around the “Kencho” or former Prefectural Office, located here in Tochigi City for a part of the Meiji era from 1871 to 1884. Today, the building is used as the City Hall Annex. It goes by the name of “Irifune-cho”, which literally means “Port Town”, evidence of the former role of this district as a thriving river port.

    Reiheishi Highway

    During the Edo era, the imperial Court in Kyoto used to send an envoy to the Reitaisai ceremony at Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, where Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined. Reiheishi Highway is where the imperial envoy used to pass on the way to Nikko. You can still see traces of the old post town in this area, in the form of a row of old Kura houses remaining along the highway.

  • Tochigi City Memorials and Museums:

    Tsukada Memorial Hall

    The wealthy wholesale merchant, Tsukada, used to operate a bank and transport lumber along the Uzuma River. His white warehouse, surrounded by a 120 m black wall,is home to heirlooms from the Tokugawa period.

    Yokoyama Kyoudokan (Yokoyama Local Culture Hall)

    yokoyama_cultural_hall
    In the early 1900s, the Yokoyama family established a wholesale stores selling hemp, a special product of this area. Today, the wholesale store office and the historic bank have both been carefully restored. You can enjoy the beautiful Japanese garden inside.

    Adachi Koukokan (Adachi Antiquarian Museum)

    adachi_antiquarian_museum
    Home to Edo era cultural displays, including several first-class “Ukiyoe” which picture everyday life in the Edo period and “Nishiki”, colorful Woodblock prints.

    Okada Kinenkan (Okada Memorial Hall)

    The Okadas are a longtime Tochigi family whose history extends over 500 years. In the Edo period, Samurai Hatakeyama lodged at the Okada’s house every 3 years on his way to Nikko. Now, the museum displays historical works of art as well as handcrafted goods.

Down Town Walking Tour

It’s a 4 km walk from Tochigi station to Shin Tochigi station. Enjoy walks along the riverside and historical streets. It takes about 3 hours. You will walk through the followings:

  1. Reiheishi Highway
  2. Okada Memorial Hall
  3. Kencho Bori (Moat)
  4. Yokoyama Local Culture Hall
  5. Dashi Kaikan (Festival Floats Exhibition Hall)
  6. Tsukada Memorial Hall
  7. Riverside Walk
  8. Adachi Antiquarian Museum
  9. Kinryuji Temple
  10. Yuzo Yamamoto Memorial
  11. Shinmeigu Shrine
  12. Manpukuji Temple
  13. Jyoganji Temple
  14. Tochigi City Hall
  15. Kuranomachi Kanko Kan (Information Center)
  • Mt. Ohira (Ohira-yama) – Panoramic Views of the Kanto Plain

    Mt. Ohira is located to the west of Tochigi City. 346m in height, it has been designated a prefectural park. A place for all seasons with an abundance of trees and flowers including cherry blossoms, azalea, hydrangeas and maples. The view from the peak is spectacular, and often called “Inland Matsushima”.

    Ohira-san Shrine

     

    ohira-san_shrine

    The Shrine was founded by Saint Jikaku during the Heian era. The main sanctuary in the center, in which the Goddess Amaterasu-Omikami and other Gods descended from her are enshrined, was established in 1218.

    Rokkaku do (pagoda)

    Rokkaku do mean a pagoda with the hexagonal building. Kokuzo-Bosatsu, the bodhisattva of wisdom, is enshrined here. This temple is a fusion of the Buddhist and Shinto faiths. Up until the Meiji era, it had the function of a temple and a shrine.

    Yuran Road

     

    yuran_road_cherry_blossoms

    In April, a four-kilometer tourist avenue leading to the mountain’s summit becomes a luxurious tunnel of cherry blossoms.

    Hydrangea slope

    Hydrangeas along both sides of the slope from Rokkakudo to the Ohira-san Shrine Gate start blooming from mid-june to early July. Ajisai or Hydrangea Matsuri is one of our flower festivals and attracts many tourists.

    Kin chaku-san

    kin_chaku-san_with_beautiful_azaleas
    In May, Mt. Kinchaku is covered with beautiful azaleas.

  • Izuru and Hoshino (Izuru-machi and Hoshino-machi) Area in Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi)

    Izuru-san Manganji Temple

     

    izuru-san_manganji_temple

    This temple was established in 767 AD by Shodo Shonin. There is a statue created by Kouhou Daishi in 820AD. It is called “Kannon Bosatsu”, which has 11 faces and 1,000 hands.

    Daihi Waterfalls

    Located at the top of the path that follows the mountain torrents,monks-in-training and temple visitors come to pray under the falls in midwinter.

    Hoshino Ruins

    Investigations in 1965 proved that the rock layers date back to the Paleolithic era. At the same time, remains from the Jomon period have been found .

    E-Trench Preservation and Observation Facilities

     

    e-trench_preservation_and_observation_facilities_-_image_1e-trench_preservation_and_observation_facilities_-_image_3

    The estimated depth is 10 meters. Scientifically, this is an important chronological discovery of the Paleolithic era in the Kanto area. You can observe the many different layers of loam that have accumulated in this area.
  • The Site of Ancient Shimotsuke Provincial Government

    Zenden

    Situated in the center of the old regional government site this building was used by government officials for special ceremonies.

    Shimotsuke Government Museum

    The Shimotsuke Government Museum exhibits some of the tools and earthenware discovered during the excavation of the “Zenden” site. Also, it is possible to watch a video featuring the restoration of the”Zenden” building.

  • Tochigi City Dashi Kaikan (Floats Festival, Exhibition Hall)

    Displays the floats (dashi) used in Tochigi’s fall festival, which the city holds every 5 years. You can admire the works of past festival artisans, dating from the Edo and Meiji period.

    Yorozucho Itchome
    Amaterasu Omikami
    yorozucho_nichome_-_kannu_uncho
    Yorozucho Nichome
    Kannu uncho
    Yorozucho Sanchome
    Susano onomikoto
    Yamatocho Itchome
    Ojishi, Mejishi
    yamatocho_nichome_-_kannmu_tenno
    Yamatocho Nichome
    Kannmu Tenno
    Yamatocho Sanchome
    Shizuka Gozen
    Muro Machi
    Momotaro
    Izumicho
    Kanko Dori
    Dai cho
    Musashibou Benkei
  • Tochigi City Annual Events and Flowering Season:

    January New Year’s Shrine/Temple Visit Ohirasan Shrine
    Izurusan Manganji Temple
    February Setsubun-Beginning of Spring Jyouganji Temple
    April Flower Festival Ohirasan Park/Hoshino
    May Azaleas Kinchakusan Hill/Mt.Ohira
    June Hydrangea Hydrangea Slope at Mr. Ohira
    Ajisai-hydrangea- Festival Front gate at the Festival Float Exhibition Hall
    July Portable Shrine Parade Main Street
    August 108 candle-boats Uzuma River
    October Tochigi Classical Musical Festival Cultural Hall
    November Tochigi Fall Festival-every 5 years- Main Street

Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi) Tourist Essential Addresses and Links:

Tochigi City Kuranomachi Kankokan (Tourist Information Center):

tochigi_city_kanko_kan_tourist_information_center

The building built in 1904 was used as a hemp wholesalers’ shop (The Tamura family). It consists of the main building, an annex, and storehouses. The storehouses were used as apartment houses after the war. Today, the building facing Kuranomachi Street is used as a souvenir shop. In the former storehouses, there are restaurants and souvenir shops.

This is a visitors’ starting point of the tour of Tochigi Town (Kuranomachi). There is a trail of Reiheishi Road on the avenue and Kaemoncho Street. There are back-walled warehouses on either side of the streets.

The street takes you back to the old days. Tochigi City Tourist Association/ Tsukada Memorial Hall and Warehouse Center 14-1 Yamato-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0037, Japan Tel: 0282-25-2356 (Tourist Association), 0282-24-2640 (Warehouse Center) Fax: 0282-20-7373 Open: 9:00-7:00, Closed on Holiday, MondaysWebsite: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/

Bunka Kaikan (Municipal Cultural Hall):

The two halls in this facility host many cultural events throughout the year.

Sougou Undo Kouen (Integrated Sports Park):

sougou_undo_kouen_integrated_sports_park_layout_map

A very popular park among its citizens. The facilities provide the opportunity to enjoy many sports activities; such as – Gymnasium, Baseball Stadium, Baseball Fields, All-Purpose Grounds, Tennis Courts, Track and Field Stadium, and Swimming Pool, Japanese Archery Range, Central Plaza, Grass Field, etc.

japanese_archery_range

Ohira Moutain (Ohira-yama)

ohira_moutain_path_tochigi_city_tochigi-shi

Hiraicho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0054, Japan Tel: 0282-25-2356 (Tochigi City Tourist Association), 0282-21-2543 (Tochigi City Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Division)

Website: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/spot/ohirasan/

Ohira Shinto shrine

ohira_shinto_shrine_tochigi_city_tochigi-shi

659 Hiraicho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0054, Japan Tel: 0282-22-0227 Fax: 0282-22-8877

Website: http://www.ohirasanjinja.rpr.jp/

Ohira Mountain (Ohira-machi) Tourism Organization [Tochigi City Hall, Ohira Mountain Branch)

558-11 Ohira-machi Tomida, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4404, Japan i (nearby Tobu Shin Ohira station) Tel: 0282-43-9213, 282-43-9212, 0282-45-1141 [Ohira Mountain (Ohira-machi) Tourism and Tourist Guide] Tel: 0282-43-8288 (Grapes harvesting from chipping trees, “Budo Danchi” Grape picking and jam making experience, Ohira Mountain trekking course, Edamame (Edible Soybean)-Black Bean and Tamba black beans Firm harvesting from planting to cultivation at the beginning of October each year.) Fax: 0282-43-0318

Website: http://www.cc9.ne.jp/~ohira-kanko/

English Info: http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/sight/tochigi_contents.html

Ohira Mountain Peak (NPO Ohira Sky Club)

1717 Ohira-machi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan Tel & Fax: 0282-43-8288

Website: http://www.cc9.ne.jp/~o-minamisanroku/top.htm

Daichu-ji Temple

252-1 Ohira-machi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan
Tel: 0282-43-2116

Seisuiji Temple

3427 Ohira-machi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan
Tel: 0282-43-3863

Ohira Town (Ohira-machi) History and Folk Customs Information Center

The Ohira Town History and Folk Customs Information Center display a variety of materials related to the archaeology and history of Ohira Town. A number of old temples are located nearby, including Daichuji Temple and Seisuiji Temple, making it convenient to explore Ohira’s history in more detail after visiting the information center. 898-1 Ohiramachi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan

Website: http://www.ohirarekimin.com/

Pageant of Lights and Sounds (Ohira machi)


Shin-ohirashita Station East exit to Platz (Plats) Ohira [See below] Access: Train : Get off at Shin-ohirashita on Tobu Nikko line. Car: A 20 minutes drive from Tochigi IC.

Inquiry: Pageant of Lights and Sounds Executive Comittee (Tel. 0282-43-9212)

Platz (Plats) Ohira

558-11 Ohiramachi Tomida, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4404, Japan Tel: 0282-43-0388

Website: http://www.cc9.ne.jp/~platz-ohira/

Kakashi no sato (Village of the Scarecrow/ Folk Village)

kakashi_no_sato_village_of_the_scarecrow_-_folk_village_ohira-machi_tochigi_city

1771-3 Ohira-machi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan Tel: +81 282-43-8288

Website: http://www.cc9.ne.jp/~o-minamisanroku/kakasinosato.htm

Ohira Cherry Blossom Festival,

Ohira Sports Park
ohira_cherry_blossom_festival_at_ohira_sports_park 1501-14 Ohira-machi Mayumi, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4415, Japan 0282-43-9225, 0282-43-1119, 0282-24-5777, 0282-43-9213 Fax 0282-43-0318, 0282-24-5888

http://www.maruwa-net.jp/top.php?ID=1939

Suwa Shrine


1531-1 Ohira-machi Mayumi, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4415, Japan Tel: 0282-43-2710, 0289-65-4227, 090-4524-1237 Fax: 0289-77-7020

Website: http://kir579053.kir.jp/jinjyacyo/?p=777

Ohira Forest Adventure/ NPO Ohira no-mori (Npo Ohira Forest Park)


857 Ohiramachi Nishiyamada, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 329-4405, Japan Tel: 0282-44-2081 (Ohira Forest Adventure) Tel: 0282-45-1677, 048-734-2851 (Npo Ohira Forest Park) Fax: 050-3737-9727 (NPO Ohira Forest Park)

Ohira Forest Adventure Website: https://ohira.foret-aventure.jp/book/calendar_e.php and http://www.foresfeel.co.jp/
NPO Ohira no-mori (Npo Ohira Forest Park) Website: http://www6.ocn.ne.jp/~npoohira/index.html

Tochigi Kuranomachi Museum of Art/ Tochigi City Dashi Kaikan (Floats Festival, Exhibition Hall)

3-23 Yorozu-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0015, Japan Tel: 0282-20-8228 (Museum), 0282-25-3100 (Dashi Kaikan/ Floats Festival) Fax: 0282-20-8227 (Museum), 0282-24-4918 (Dashi Kaikan/ Floats Festival)
Kuranomachi Museum of Art Website: http://kuramuseum.com/

Tochigi City Dashi Kaikan/ Floats Festival Website: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/spot/kuranomachi/dashi/

 

Pleasure boat ride

pleasure_boat_ride_along_uzuma_river_uzumagawa

10-12 Minato-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0045, Japan Tel: 0282-23-2003

Website: http://www.k-yuransen.com/

Yokoyama Kyodokan Information Center

The Yokoyama Family introduced at the Yokoyama Kyodokan Information Center were a wealthy merchant family in the Meiji Era that owned banks and hemp wholesalers. Inside the priceless building with its classical style of architecture, a cashier desk and other features are recreated to provide an impression of the time design the family lived during. The large 7.2 meter wide by 9 meter deep stone warehouse was designated as a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property in 1998. Address: 2-16 Irifune-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0016, Japan Tel: 0282-22-0159

Website: http://home.k08.itscom.net/kyodokan/

Idurusan Manganji Temple and Izuru Cave


288 Izurumachi, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0206, Japan Tel: 0282-31-1717 Fax: 0282-31-2121 Hours: 8:00 am–5:00 pm

Website: http://www.idurusan.com/

Mikamo Road Station

mikamo_road_station_tochigi_city

678 Fujioka-machi Odawa, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 323-1107, Japan Tel: 0282-62-0990 Fax: 0282-61-1157

Website: http://www.city.tochigi.lg.jp/hp/page000005000/hpg000004278.htm

Kinryuji Temple


22-4 Yorozu-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0015, Japan Tel: +81 282-22-0802

Website: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/spot/kuranomachi/kinryuji/

Shinmeigu Shrine


Shinmeigu Shrine is said to have been built in Kanda-shuku (Present day Kandacho) within Tochigi Castle in 1403. It was relocated to its current location in 1589 by Minagawa Hiroteru and became the guardian of Tochigi town. The name “Tochigi” is said to come from the name of the straw (chigi) used in the roof of the Shinmeigu Shrine. 26-3 Asahicho Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi)i, Tochigi Prefecture 328-0035, Japan Tel: +81 282-24-4530 Fax: +81 282-24-4500

Website: http://www.jinja.rpr.jp/

Adachi Koukokan (Adachi Antiquarian Museum)


4-2 Yorozu-cho, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0015, Japan Tel/Fax: 0282-22-0149

Website: http://www1.ttcn.ne.jp/adachi/

Tsuga Town (Tsuga-machi) Village Park

tsuga_town_tsuga-machi_cherry_blossom_tochigi_city

Tsuga Town (Tsuga-machi) Tourist Office 5982-1 Tsuga-machi Ienaka, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0111, Japan Tel: 0282-29-1104 Tsuga Vilage Cherry Blossom Festival Executive Committee: 0282-92-0008 Fax: 0282-28-0169

http://www.city.tochigi.lg.jp/hp/page000009000/hpg000008750.htm

Oidejyuku Sato no Eki (Tsuga farming center)

oidejyuku_sato_no_eki_tsuga_farming_center

Oidejyuku Sato no Eki is located just before the mountain road from the town of Tsuga to Tochigi City, making it popular as a rest and food area for many drivers. There is a location for direct sales of agricultural products. 334-5 Tsuga-machi Ogaki, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0101, Japan Tel: 0282-91-1181

Website: http://www.ja-shimotsuke.or.jp/

Oogaki Hanayama Botanical Garden and Horticulture

60 Tsuga-machi Ogaki, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0101, Japan Ogaki, Tochigi, Tochigi Prefecture 328-0101, Japan Tel: 0282-92-0871, 090-5513-5813

oogaki_hanayama_botanical_garden_and_horticulture_tsuga-machi_tochigi_city

Oogaki Hanayama Agriculture and Horticulture Management Center 5992-5 Tsuga-machi Ienaka, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0111, Japan Tel: 0282-27-8741, 0282-27-2031

Website: http://www.cc9.ne.jp/~oogaki-hanayama/info-hanayama/

Izuru Fureai no mori Forest and Campground


417 Izuru-machi, Tochigi City (Tochigi-shi), Tochigi Prefecture 328-0206, Japan Tel: 0282-31-0810

Website: http://www.iduru.jp/fureai/top.html

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