Beyond the UNESCO-listed Nikko, Tochigi is a rewarding destination with a variety of things to see and do. About just two hours north of Tokyo by train, the prefecture is within an easy day trip where you can discover the otherworldly underground attraction of Oya History Museum, savour dumplings in Japan's gyoza capital of Utsunomiya, and take in the magnificent sight of 350 blooming wisteria at Ashikaga Flower Park.
Narita Airport → Ashikaga-shi About 2 hours
This one-of-a-kind museum is built inside a former stone quarry that was once mined for its soft yet durable Oya Stone. The extensive underground caverns are illuminated with various colours, and where art exhibitions, projection mapping, and various events are held periodically at. Bring a jacket – the average temperature is around 10ºC!
Utsunomiya City is famous for one thing: gyoza. There are over 300 gyoza stores in the city, and if you want to taste a variety of options, Kirasse is a place that has 5 gyoza brands gathered in.
Reminiscent of a quaint American east coast town, Sano Premium Outlets® houses about 180 stores, boasting renowned domestic and international brands. Take a break from shopping by hopping into the many restaurants and cafes located along the fashionable shopping streets.
The park is famous for its blooms of purple and pink wisterias that resemble waterfalls of colours wherever you look – experience the magic by walking in the wisteria tunnels. Come at night for a truly enchanting sight when these blooms are illuminated and reflected in the ponds.