When to travel?

Because there is no ocean in Tochigi, it is said that the temperature difference during a day and a night is huge.

Best season:  Mar-Nov (Jun is monsoon)
Snow season:  Dec-Mar
Cherry blossoms:  end of Mar-Apr
Foliage:  Oct-Nov

Events / Festivals

Apr: Gohanshiki (強飯式), Nikko 日光
May: Hyakumonozoroi Samurai festival (百物揃千人武者行列), Nikko 日光
Aug: Daimojihiki (大捻縄引), Odawara 大田原
Aug: Nantaisan Tobai festival (男体山登拝祭), Nikko 日光
Oct: Shikanuma autumn festival (鹿沼秋まつり), Shikanuma 鹿沼
Dec: Otariya (オタリヤ), Utsunomiya

Touristic spots

Capital city: Utsunomiya (宇都宮)

With almost half million of population, Utsunomiya is the biggest city of northern Kanto region.  The city is located at the foot of mountains and there are some rivers.

There used to be a castle, which was demolished, and it is served as a city park now.  There are some of historical monuments, as well as family attractions such as zoo, museum and so on.

Utsunomiya Futarasan shrine (宇都宮二荒山神社), the another is in Nikko.
Otani temple (大谷寺), there is a big statue of Goddess of Mercy (観音像).

Nikko (日光)

The most touristic spot in Tochigi, which you can never miss.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as a National Park.  As explained in the Kanto article, the must-visit place is called Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮).

There are still a lot to see in this area apart from the temples. Senjogahara (戦場ヶ原) is a field where we can enjoy nature, especially foliage times.  Kazura bridge (かずら橋) is another thing that you can only see here.

Foliage time at Ryuzu waterfall (龍頭の滝), near Nikko.
Kazura bridge (かずら橋)
Chuzenji Lake (中禅寺湖) and Mt. Nantai (男体山).
Kegon waterfall (華厳の滝), which is also a part of World Heritage Site.

Nasu Shiobara (那須塩原)

One of the most well-known summer resorts.  As it takes only 1 hour by Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo, Nasu Shiobara has been the place where people spend their summer holidays.  During wintertime, ski resort also opens so we can enjoy the place throughout a year.

The temperature is lower during summertime.
In winter, a ski resort opens.

Mashiko (益子)

It is a small city of pottery.  They produce nice pottery which we can use at daily basis, and even festivals are held.  The city is small, but a great place to experience Japanese pottery.

Mashiko yaki (益子焼) pottery.
Market is held.

Ryuo gorge (竜王峡)

A gorge located between Kinugawa river (鬼怒川) and Kawaji Hot spring (川治温泉).  The gorge belongs to Nikko National Park and the view is amazing.

You may visit the gorge on the way to Kawaji Hot spring.

Kinugawa Hot spring (鬼怒川温泉)

More than 2 million people visit this hot spring every year.  Kinugawa Hot spring is trying to welcome more and more foreign tourists, which may enable more foreign tourists to enjoy Japanese traditional hot spring easier.  Many more luxurious hotels are being built.

Foot bath in Nikko.