Bamboo forest

Discover the countryside: Tochigi and Utsunomiya

Nov 01, 2023 at 12:00am ~ Nov 30, 2023 at 12:00am

Explore two countryside getaways near Tokyo, each offering a distinct experience. You can opt for a stay in a centuries-old traditional dwelling, immerse yourself in an exhilarating nightlife filled with jazz bars, or bask in the serenity of a bamboo forest.

If you’re looking for a nearby option, Tochigi is situated along the Uzumagawa River. It provides convenient access to Tokyo and the Shrines and Temples of Nikkō. Historically, this location has made Tochigi a thriving merchant town, drawing traders who, in turn, supported renowned artists like Kitagawa Utamaro. Utamaro’s influence even extended to Western artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, in the 19th century. Fortunately, Tochigi escaped damage during World War II, preserving its historical temples, shops, and storehouses for visitors to enjoy.
For those seeking a break from city life, the Tochigi Float Festival, held every November, offers a traditional Edo-style parade. Festival floats, or ‘Dashi’, have carved figures with decorations in gold and silver. Tochigi is conveniently just an hour and a half away from Tokyo by train.

On the other hand, Utsunomiya is a great option. It lands between Tokyo and Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated to the north. Travelers with a JR pass will find Utsunomiya to be a crucial transfer point when returning from Nikko to Tokyo. Utsunomiya has a known vibrant nightlife, offering jazz and cocktail bars, izakayas, and the irresistible Gyoza dumplings. Alongside these culinary delights, Utsunomiya provides budget-friendly accommodation options, making it an economical alternative to Tokyo.
The city enhaces with a variety of events, including springtime cherry blossom viewing, lively summer festivals, breathtaking fireworks displays, the Japan Cup (featuring bicycle racing), and the 3×3 World Basketball Championships. Moreover, Utsunomiya is home to the Seasons Bamboo Forest at Wakayama Farm, which happens to be the largest accessible bamboo forest in Japan.
If you’re looking for activities for November, consider attending the Pottery Fair from Nov. 3 to 6, running from 9am to 5pm. Explore the world of traditional Mashiko pottery, admire artwork, and sample local treats while connecting with Japanese artists.



Start: Nov 1st 2023 at 12:00am

End: Nov 30th 2023 at 12:00am