Tochigi Prefecture is located at the north part of Kanto region, and the shape on the map is roughly oval.
The prefectural capital is Utsunomiya city, which is located at the just south of the central point of the prefecture.
The west part of the prefecture is mountainous, and the east part is
hilly. So the central area is flatland and Utsunomiya and some cities
Tohoku Shinkansen and expressway run there from north to south.
The most popular sightseeing area is Nikko, and the city is located about 35 km northwest of Utsunomiya and at the foot of the western mountains.
In the 8th century, Futarasan shrine and Rinnoji temple were built here, then here had been the main sacred land of east Japan since that.
And in the 17th century, Nikko Toshogu shrine was built, and Ieyasu
Tokugawa, the founder of Edo government, was enshrined as a god here.
Nikko had become the most important place in east Japan.
In 1999, these one temple and two shrines were designated as a World Heritage site.
There is no airport in Tochigi Prefecture. But the railroads are
By Tohoku-Shinkansen, we can reach Utsunomiya within an hour from Tokyo.
To Nikko or Kinugawa, by the limited express of Tobu Railway, we can reach there within 2 hours from Asakusa or Shinjuku.
To Nikko by car, it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes using Tohoku Expressway and Nikko-Utsunomiya Road from Tokyo. (About 130 km)
|Average value 1981-2010||JAN||FEB||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL||AUG||SEP||OCT||NOV||DEC|
|Highest Temperature (deg C)||-0.4||0.0||3.6||10.0||14.8||17.7||21.6||22.6||18.6||13.2||8.2||2.9|
|Lowest Temperature (deg C)||-8.1||-8.1||-5.1||0.1||5.1||10.1||14.4||15.3||11.6||5.1||-0.2||-5.0|
|Mean monthly rainfall (mm)||52||59||109||158||175||221||277||394||363||202||108||51|
Nikko Toshogu shrine
Futarasan shrine /2/
Rinnoji temple /3/
Shinkyou bridge /4/
Cedar Avenue of Nikko /5/
Iroha-zaka sloping roads /6/
Kegon Falls /7/
Lake Chuzenji /8/
Senjogahara marsh /9/
Lake Yunoko /10/
Kirifuri highland /11/
Nikko Edo-mura (Edo Wonderland) /21/
Tobu World Square /22/
Kinugawa hot spring resort /23/
Ryuokyo gorge /24/
Kawaji hot spring resort /25/
Yunishigawa hot spring resort /26/
It is the annual festival of Futarasan shrine in Nikko
More than a dozen floats decorated with beautiful pink flowers march along to festival music throughout the town.
In the last day, they gather in the precincts of the shrine, then all of them parade around the main shrine.
A float is the representative of each district. And the order of floats and conventions of the operation had been arranged strictly. So if the men of a float has made a little mistake, they have gotten into a big trouble between the districts.
It is the parade held on the main approach of Nikko
shrine and Rinnoji temple in spring and autumn.
More than thousand people parade about 1 km. They put on historical costumes. Many of them wear armor, some of them have pikes, and some of them sit astride horses.
At the end of the line, mikoshi (portable shrines) also parade.
It is the event held in Ikiko shrine in Kanuma city. In
Japanese, it is called "Naki-zumo". This event has been held since the
Of course, babies aren't sumo wrestles. A man like sumo wrestler holds a baby in his arm, and two babies face each other.
The two men rock the babies. And the baby who has cried first wins.
But both babies are winners. "Crying baby grows up healthy" is one of the well-known Japanese proverbs. People pray for all babies' healthy growth.
Gyoza is a kind of dumpling stuffed with minced pork and
vegitables. Originally, it is one of Chinese foods, and is called
"jiaozi" in Chinese.
In Japan, it has been popular since the cooks who had learned in Manchuria (current northeastern China) came back to Japan and served after World War II.
Utsunomiya has always been one of the cities that a citizen buys the most gyoza in Japan a year. So since the 1990s, Utsunomiya has promoted its gyoza as part of efforts to develop the city.
Now Utsunomiya-gyoza is well-known throughout the country.
Yuba is a Japanese and Chinese food known as "tofu skin"
or "dried bean curd". It is made by boiling soy milk and collecting the
film or skin of protein on the liquid surfice.
In Japan it is the specialty of Nikko and Kyoto.
Kyoto-yuba is thin, but Nikko-yuba is thick. Because, Nikko-yuba is made by rolling or bundling the thin film.
Originally yuba had been the food for ascetic training monk in the mountains since ancient times.
It is said that ordinary people began to eat from the late 19th century.
It is one of Japanese foods, and is dried shavings of
calabash, a type of gourd.
It is made by peeling the calabash, shaving it like a long strip with a plane and drying it.
The work of shaving is done before daylight in midsummer and the strips are dried in strong summer sunshine.
Over 80 percent of kanpyo in Japan is produced in Tochigi Prefecture.
It is commonly used as one of ingredients of sushi roll.
It is the pottery produced in Mashiko town located at the
southwest part of Tochigi Prefecture. It is massive pottery.
It is said that the production was started around the mid-19th century.
First pots and water jars had been made. But a ceramic artist began to create a ceramic jar with rid for tea ceremony and the other craftworks since the 1930s.
Since that Mashiko pottery has been famous in Japan. Additionally Bernard Leach (1887-1979, a British potter) introduced it to Europe.