Utsunomiya has a lot to offer MICE participants, from food, sports, to cultural events.
Here is some recommended sightseeing information for your visit to Utsunomiya.
Utsunomiya Gyoza (Potstickers)
Discover various types of Utsunomiya gyoza, from long-established restaurants to up-and-coming eateries.
Utsunomiya Gyoza, dumplings synonymous with the city, were allegedly created when the recipe was brought back by soldiers returning after the war from China. Today, Utsunomiya has over 300 gyoza shops. The variety, ingredients, and unique characteristics differ from shop to shop, so we recommend heading on a mini food tour.
Japan's Top Bartenders Create Captivating and Original Cocktails
The cocktails crafted in Utsunomiya are are famous. Known as "the city of cocktails", many bartenders working here have won national cocktail competitions. The city is dotted with an array of unique and famous bars, so you can easily enjoy a special drink.
Music Permeates the City’s Street Corners. Head Here to Listen to Soothing Jazz Melodies
Utsunomiya has produced several world-class jazz musicians. There are many venues where visitors can enjoy jazz music throughout the city.
Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine
Futaara-San: An Utsunomiya Symbol Loved by Locals
This shrine was built about 1,600 years ago. This symbol of Utsunomiya has continued to watch over the city and is beloved by locals. Throughout the years, this sacred site has flourished in the Futaara Forest. Today, many city residents visit the shrine on special occasions such as New Year's and Shichi-Go-San (the "7-5-3" celebration of a child's growth).
Locally Brewed Sake in Utsunomiya
High-Quality Sake Employing Nature's Bounty to Express "Local" Flavors
In Tochigi Prefecture, many breweries utilize high-quality local water. There's beer that uses locally produced malt, locally brewed sake that has won recognition domestically and abroad, and wine aged in a cave functioning as a natural underground cellar.
WAKAYAMA FARM Inc. Four Seasons Bamboo Forest
Experience the Delicate Yet Powerful Beauty of Bamboo Trees
This stunning bamboo forest is sprawling across nearby grounds. While soaking up the natural ambiance, visitors can forget about the worries of daily life. For example, you can take a stroll while enveloped by the gentle sound of the bamboo trees swaying in the wind. Additionally, visitors can have a hands-on experience with seasonal harvests, including digging for bamboo shoots. On weekends and national holidays, the bamboo forest is illuminated at night, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Oya History Museum
An Otherworldly Experience Deep Inside a Former Rock Quarry
This gigantic subterranean space extends about 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet). Throughout the year, it maintains an average temperature of 8 degrees Celsius. So it's cool even during the sweltering summer, making it an ideal place to visit. Resembling a gigantic underground temple, the view of this majestic atmosphere is stunning!
All Types of Fruit, Including Strawberries, Apples, Cherries, Pears, and Grapes
The outskirts of Utsunomiya feature extensive farmland where a wide variety of fruit is grown. The region is dotted with tourist farms, farmer's markets, and fruit stands. Many Utsunomiya signature farm products are sold here.
Utsunomiya Brex is a professional basketball team in the B.LEAGUE and the league's inaugural champion. Many fans don sweaters with the team's yellow color at home games to cheer on the teammates.
Utsunomiya Blitzen is a cycling team based in Utsunomiya. They participate in road races attended by world-class cyclists.
Tochigi SC, a professional soccer club in the J League, is based in Utsunomiya City. Their home games are played at Kanseki Stadium Tochigi, a new facility built in 2020.
FIBA (International Basketball Federation) 3X3 World Tour
This World Tour will determine the world's top 3x3 basketball team. The opening competition is held before a lively group of spectators in front of Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine. Starting in 2022, the opening game—known as the "Utsunomiya Opener"—will be played within the city limits.For details, please check Utsunomiya City's official homepage.
JAPAN CUP CYCLE ROAD RACE
This is Asia's top-ranked cycling road race, attracting people worldwide.(Mid-October)
Miya Festival (Miya Matsuri)
Held every August, this is the Northern Kanto Region's largest festival and a featured attraction during Utsunomiya's summer season. Highlighted by mikoshi (portable shrine) floats, the summer nights heat up with excitement!(1st Saturday & Sunday in August)
Utsunomiya Fireworks Festival
This summer event is held at Dojojuku Field beside the Kinugawa River. The evening skies are lit up with colorful, dazzling fireworks accompanied by music during this festival.(2nd Saturday in August)
Sightseeing Spots in Utsunomiya City and Tochigi Prefecture
Situated in central Tochigi Prefecture, Utsunomiya City serves as the gateway to the prefecture's famous sightseeing locations.
There are a variety of tourist spots starting with the World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine.
Other attractive locations include well-known hot spring areas such as Kinugawa and Shiobara, the nature-rich Nasu area, and famous pottery places like Mashiko Town. The southern part of the prefecture is where Ashikaga Flower Park and Kura no Machi Tochigi are located, sightseeing attractions with international acclaim.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine
The shrines and temples of Nikko are World Heritage Sites that represent Japan. The most famous among these is Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Additionally, Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first of the Tokugawa shoguns in the Edo Period, is enshrined here.
Kinugawa Hot Spring Town
Kinugawa is one of Japan's leading hot spring areas with a history exceeding 300 years. The banks of the Kinugawa River are lined with many long-standing ryokans. Nearby you'll also find Tobu World Square and Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura.
The Nasu area is blessed with nature-rich surroundings, including mountain ranges and pastures. It's home to the former Imperial Family Villa, so this is also a famous summer retreat. There's even a full lineup of leisure facilities.
Shiobara Hot Spring Town
There are ten different categories of hot spring water in Japan. Shiobara's hot springs contain six of these, each offering unique healthful properties. Amidst beautiful natural surroundings, visitors can refresh their body and mind here.
Twin Ring Motegi
Twin Ring Motegi first opened in 1997 as a race car circuit. Today, there is a facility where visitors can enjoy a wide range of nature-centric experiences. These include glamping, athletic challenges, and zip-lining.
Mashiko Ware Pottery Making Experience
Mashiko Town is home to Mashiko ware, a pottery style famed for its simple appearance. Festivals during Golden Week and in early November honor this tradition. In addition to pottery shops, there are many spots where you can easily enjoy a pottery-making experience.
Kura no Machi Tochigi
Tochigi City was once called the mercantile city of the northern Kanto region. Running through the heart of the town is the main street lined with traditional buildings. This includes misegura, or historic buildings that combine a shop and living quarters. There's also dozogun, which are beautiful earthen-walled warehouses.
Ashikaga Flower Park
Ashikaga Flower Park is known for its beautiful wisteria flowers. It is an attraction that can be enjoyed year-round.