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  • Suggested Itineraries
  • Nasu Area
  • Central Area

Experience local art and culture! 3 days of sake breweries, pottery, and more.

Schedule

Day 1

Tokyo Station

  1. Rental car (2 hrs)

Utsunomiya Gyōza-kai Kirasse

1

A gyoza theme park presented by Utsunomiya Gyōza-kai

The restaurant space houses five permanent restaurants and a total of 34 temporary restaurants working in rotation, with 8-10 open on any given day. In addition to an exclusive special dumpling menu, the souvenir corner offers frozen gyoza dumplings from all 35 outlets as well as gyoza-inspired sweets and goodies.

  1. Rental car (30 min)

Tagesan Fudoson

2
This temple served as the favored place of worship of the Utsunomiya clan for generations.
It is known as a place where worshippers can pray to Fudo for safety from fire and success in business.

Tagesan Fudoson's wooden statue of a seated Fudo was crafted using the technique of yosegi, a type of traditional Japanese marquetry, and is believed to date back to the late Heian Period.
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  1. Rental car (10 min)

Oya History Museum (Ohya)

  • Time Required: 1 hour
3

The old underground quarry is called “Unknown Space”

The old mining site of Utsunomiya’s famous,Oya Stone,has now been turned into a historical museum. The exhibition features the long history of the mining since the 17th century,with many materials on display. The underground cavern,covering 20,000 sq. metres,is large enough to fit a baseball field.

With a fantastic atmosphere reminding visitors of the ruins of Ancient Rome.It is used in various scenes such as movie shooting, music videos shooting, weddings, concert, etc. due to its mysterious scenery.

  1. Rental car (10 min)

Four Seasons Bamboo Forest Wakayama Farm

4

Wakayama Farm is a farm where bamboo has been cultivated with the aim of pesticide-free and organic farming for approximately over 80 years. The 24-hectare bamboo forest on this farm has also been used as the location for various movies and commercials.

In addition to taking a stroll through the bamboo forest,you can pick bamboo shoots in spring,pick berries in the summer and search for chestnuts in the fall.

During the winter season, they light up the bamboo forest on the weekends. You can take for a walk in the bamboo forest and enjoy beautiful illumination.

  1. Rental car (20 min)

Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine

5

The city of Utsunomiya developed around the shrine

The history of the Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine dates back 1,600 years when the shrine was dedicated to the founder of Utsunomiya,Toyoki-Irihiko-no-Mikoto. Most of the festivals held in the city are related to this historic shrine. Many people come to the shrine on special occasions such as New Year and Shichi-Go-San seasons. The illuminated gate and approach to the shrine are an incredible evening sight. The shrine is also home to some nationally important works of art.

Stay in Utsunomiya

6

Day 2

  1. Rental car (1 hr 20 min)

Daioji

7

Experience Zen meditation at a Soto sect Zen temple with a history spanning over 600 years.

The family temple of the feudal lord of the Kurobane domain (now the area around Otawara), who belonged to the Ozeki clan, this Soto sect Buddhist temple is over 600 years old. All seven of the buildings on the grounds have thatched roofs, and several have been designated important cultural properties, including the temple's main hall, Zen hall, and cloister. Visitors can enjoy various kinds of scenery depending on the season, from flowers such as peonies, fringed irises, and hydrangeas to fall foliage. At Daioji Temple, anyone is welcome to participate in Zen meditation and sutra copying, regardless of nationality or religion. Even if it's your first time, there will be a thorough explanation of the proper etiquette, so there is no need for concern. In the main hall is a scroll depicting a makuragaeshi, a spirit said to visit at night to one's pillow side and flip over the pillow in Japanese folklore, whose gaze seems to follow you around the room. This rare work dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). Mysterious and frightening tales report that if you sleep in front of the scroll, you will awaken to find your head and feet facing the opposite direction and your pillow flipped over.
  1. Rental car (5 min)

Kurobane Kanko Yana

8

Yana - The fishing tradition of Naka River

Experience a refreshing breeze and white sea spray while catching Ayu sweetfish with a traditional fishing weir called a yana. And afterward, enjoy the enticing aroma and crunchy skin of salted, charcoal-grilled Ayu and “Ayu kamameshi,” a traditional Japanese rice dish.

  1. Rental car (30 min)

Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art (Batoh)

9

A peaceful museum of Ukiyo-e

A museum dedicated to the works of Hiroshige Utagawa, an Ukiyo-e artist of the Edo period. You can get a glimpse of Japanese culture of the 19th century through his original drawings and Hanga (woodblock prints). The entire museum is made of local cedar and washi (handcrafted paper) designed by the global architect, Kengo Kuma, with a concept of “the traditional and serene appearance that expresses the artistry and tradition of Hiroshige”. Many visitors also come here to study design.
  1. Rental car (2 min)

Iizuka-tei

10

Iizuka-tei - A national Tangible Cultural Property

Renovated into a hotel, this old traditional Japanese house has deep ties to the local community.
It’s a spectacular space furnished with modern furniture and amenities and surrounded by over 100 years of historic, traditional Japanese architecture.

Day 3

  1. Rental car (15 min)

Koisagoyaki Pottery Experience

11

Create your own traditional Koisagoyaki pottery!

Try your hand at painting, hand building and wheel throwing at the Koisagoyaki Pottery Experience Centre “Toyu-kan”. Using local clay, visitors can enjoy a therapeutic and creative experience within natural surroundings. The spacious centre with a capacity of up to 100 is perfect for groups. Koisagoyaki is a historic gold-glazed ceramic art and is officially recognised as one of prefecture’s traditional crafts. The Koisago area in Nakagawa-machi is the home of Koisagoyaki pottery and a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan. One of the famous Koisagoyaki potteries, Fujita Pottery was featured on NHK Television’s travel programme in 2016.
  1. Rental car (30 min)

Torinoko Sansho Shrine

12

The shrine on the border of two prefectures known for its owl of good luck

Torinoko Sansho Shrine consists of a main hall, a worship hall, a tower gate, a Torii gate (at the prefectural border of Tochigi and Ibaraki) and the main shrine. The shrine is known for its lucky owl, a messenger from the god who brings good luck. The temple complex contains the nation’s largest statue of an owl, an owl post, an owl bell and an owl statue on which visitors pour water to wash their troubles away. Other notable sites include a miraculous turtle well that has never dried up and the building known as Gochiin where famous feudal lord Mitsukuni Tokugawa once stayed. 
  1. Rental car

Lunch at Nasukarasuyama city

13
  1. Rental car

Shimazaki Sake Brewery

14

The city’s only Sake brewery with a 200-year-old Sake cave

Established in 1849, Shimazaki Sake Brewery is open for tours of the brewery and the history of the brewing process (prior bookings required). Along with a selection of local Sake, you can purchase other liqueurs made from Yuzu, strawberries or Ume plums and Sake ice cream made with Ginjo-shu. The “Sakagura Festival” held at the brewery in March offers sake-tasting, quizzes, prize draws and sales of limited edition Sake bottles.
  1. Rental car (3 min)

Ryumon Falls

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This waterfall is in Taki, Nasukarasuyama City. Located on the Egawa River, it is about 20-meter-high and 65-meter-wide.

Halfway down the fall are two vertical holes called Ogama ("Male Cauldron") and Megama ("Female Cauldron").Ogama has a diameter of 4 meters and Megama 2 meters.

Since Japan Railways' Karasuyama Line runs nearby, it's known as a photo spot where you can take pictures of the trains and the falls at the same time. The falls are illuminated on summer evenings.

Right next to the Ryumon Furusato Mingeikan is a path where you can walk to get a close-up view of the Ryumon falls.
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  1. Rental car (2 hrs)

Tokyo Station

Suggested Itineraries