Here’s a guide for anyone wanting to learn about Tochigi prefecture, whether you are moving to Tochigi, living in Tochigi, or visiting we’ve got some tips on the area and have some recommended things to do in Tochigi.
Tochigi prefecture is situated in North Kanto, surrounded by Ibaraki, Saitama, Gunma, and Fukushima prefectures. As one of Japan’s only landlocked prefectures, Tochigi prefecture includes part of Nikko National Park, home to the Mt. Nantai Volcano as well as the beautiful Lake Chūzenji, Kegon Falls, and more.
There are plenty of things that lead people to consider living in Tochigi, beyond its beautiful landscapes, it is a well-linked-up prefecture with a mild climate and a lot of cultures. As well as this the prefecture has some delicious food specialties such as Utsunomiya gyoza (Utsunomiya City is also known as the ‘town of gyoza’), Tochigi Wagyu beef, dairy products, and locally brewed sake.
The climate of Tochigi prefecture is humid and hot in summer with frequent storms, the winters are usually quite dry and sometimes windy. Thanks to its climate, Tochigi prefecture has a large agricultural industry, and during winter and spring, you can enjoy strawberry picking.
Popular Areas in Tochigi Prefecture
If you are living in Tochigi or considering moving to Tochigi, you can be sure that you’ll have abundant access to nature. 21% of the prefecture is designated as natural park areas, including Nikkō National Park, Oze National Park, and various prefectural natural parks, there’s no shortage of things to do in Tochigi if you enjoy being outside in nature.
The mountainous area in north Tochigi prefecture attracts a lot of visitors since it has a lot of the top things to do in Tochigi. Mt. Shirane, Mt. Nantai, and Mt. Nasudake are all located in the northern area. The Nasu area is known for ski resorts, onsen, and sake.
The city of Nikkō is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a lot of important Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
Utsunomiya City is the most populated city in the prefecture – when looking for apartments in Tochigi, this is one of the most popular areas. Utsunomiya City is also the capital of Tochigi prefecture. Some of the other most populated areas are Ashikaga, Sano, Tochigi, and Oyama City.
Getting Around Tochigi
If you are moving to Tochigi, you can count on it is pretty easy to access the rest of Japan since it is so well-connected to Tokyo. Since ancient times the Tochigi area has been the main route from Tokyo to the Tohoku region.
Now, the Tohoku Shinkansen and expressway run through the prefecture from south to north, connecting Tochigi prefecture to various other cities and prefectures.
Traveling to Tokyo is easy for anyone living in Tochigi, it takes more or less one or two hours depending on what train you get. Likewise, if you are in Tokyo, there are plenty of things to do in Tochigi if you’re interested in making the trip. From Utsunomiya City to Tokyo it takes around an hour by Shinkansen, or a little less than two hours by the JR local train from JR Utsunomiya station. From Nikko to Tokyo it takes around 2 hours by JR lines and the Tobu railway.
Things to do in Tochigi prefecture
Ashikaga Tochigi Flower Park
One of our favorite things to do in Tochigi is taking a visit to a popular Tochigi flower park, Ashikaga Flower Park in the Ashikaga area.
The entrance fees for Ashikaga Flower Park vary depending on the season from \300 to \1800. This Tochigi flower park has different displays throughout the seasons, so there is always something to enjoy.
The highlight of Ashikaga Flower Park is the wisteria, which usually blooms from late April to mid-May. Wisteria flowers are loved in Japan, they are called fuji, and at this Tochigi flower park, there are illuminations so that you can enjoy them at night too.
The park is full of enormous wisteria trellises as well as an 80-meter-long tunnel of wisteria, which you can appreciate alongside the Japanese azalea and peonies that are also in season. Ashikaga Flower Park is one of the best places to see Japanese wisteria and the displays here are truly magical.
Some of the other flower displays include roses, rhododendrons, and clematis flowers from mid-May to early June, iris, and hydrangeas from early June to early July, and some popular festive illuminations among pansies and violas in winter.
The popular Tochigi flower park can be accessed easily by taking the train to JR Ashikaga Flower Park station.
If you are looking for apartments in Tochigi close to the flower park, please check out our Ashikaga apartments available for rent.
If you are looking for things to do in Tochigi, Kegon Falls should be on your list. Located in the Nikkō National Park at Lake Chūzenji near Nikkō city, the main waterfall of the Kegon Falls has a spectacular height of almost 100 meters and is surrounded by other smaller waterfalls.
As well as being listed as one of Japan’s top waterfalls, Kegon Falls is a popular spot for taking in autumn colors. The foliage usually peaks in mid to late October.
Kegon Falls can be seen from a free observation platform that can easily be accessed on foot, as well as a paid observation platform at the base of the waterfalls which can be accessed by an elevator.
Alternatively, you can view both the waterfall and Lake Chuzenji from the Akechidaira Observatory which can be accessed by ropeway from the Akechidaira Plateau.
Kegon Falls can be accessed by bus from the JR or Tobu Nikko Station, it is a short walk away from the Chuzenjiko Onsen bus terminal. If you are living in Tochigi, you must visit the falls at least once!
Culture in Tochigi
This is a prefecture seeped in culture and abundant in nature, that attracts plenty of tourists a well as people moving to Tochigi since it is also conveniently linked to Tokyo. If you are looking for apartments in Tochigi in Tochigi, please check out what’s available at the moment.
There are plenty of things that may draw you to Tochigi beyond this list so please explore the areas!