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Tochigi Prefecture

tochigi prefecture map, tochigi prefecture japan
Tochigi Prefecture 栃木県, Tochigi-ken is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshu, Japan1 The capital is the city of Utsunomiya2

Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture3

Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts The Imperial Family has a villa in Nasu Nasu-Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station

Current map of Tochigi Prefecture


  • 1 Prefectural overview
  • 2 History
  • 3 Municipalities
    • 31 Cities
    • 32 Towns
    • 33 Mergers
  • 4 Industry and agriculture
  • 5 Education
  • 6 People
  • 7 Sports
    • 71 Football
    • 72 Ice hockey
    • 73 Basketball
    • 74 Motorsport
  • 8 Tourism
  • 9 Transportation and access
    • 91 Roads
    • 92 Rail
    • 93 Air travel
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Prefectural overviewedit

Situated among the inland prefectures of the northern part of the Kantō region, Tochigi is contiguous with Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima Prefectures

The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone with broad variations in temperature Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid with frequent thunderstorms

The population of Tochigi as of November 2010 is approximately 2,005,096

Located in the center of the prefecture is the largest open plain in the Kantō region Shirane 2,578 m, Nantai 2,484 m and Nasudake 1,917 m mountain are in the northern part of the area Kinugawa, Nakagawa, and Watarase River originate in this region, which flow across the Kanto plain before emptying into the Pacific Ocean Tochigi is the 20th largest prefecture in Japan with a total area of 6,408 square km

As of 1 April 2012, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Nikkō National Park, Oze National Park, and eight Prefectural Natural Parks4

Nikko Cedar Avenue


See also: Historic Sites of Tochigi Prefecture

Before the Meiji Restoration, Tochigi was known as Shimotsuke Province5

In the early 15th century, Ashikaga Gakko, Japan's oldest school of higher education, was re-established, holding over 3,000 students by the 16th century Saint Francis Xavier introduced Ashikaga to the world as the best university in Japan

In the early 17th century, Japan was unified by the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu After his death, Tōshō-gū shrine was built in Nikko on what the shoguns thought of as holy ground to protect and worship Ieyasu The establishment of the Nikkō Tōshō-gū in 1617 brought Nikkō to national attentioncitation needed The Tokugawa shogunate developed the Nikkō Kaidō 日光街道, part of the major road connecting Nikkō with Edo and required lavish processions to worship Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line of shoguns

In the late 19th century, the Tokugawa Shogunate fell and the new government established the prefectures The prefectural capital was established in the city of Tochigi after the unification of Utsunomiya Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture in 1873citation needed By 1884, however, the capital was transferred to Utsunomiya

In March 2011, following the Fukushima I nuclear accidents, levels of radioactivity in Utsunomiya were 33 times higher than normal6


The Kegon Falls in Nikkō

The chief city of Utsunomiya is famous for its many gyoza specialist shops Also located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture has one of the largest shopping malls in the North Kantō region, Bell Mall


Tochigi City Otawara

Fourteen cities are located in Tochigi Prefecture:


These are the towns in each district:


Main article: List of mergers in Tochigi Prefecture

Industry and agricultureedit

Located close to Tōkyō, Tochigi is home to many corporations and industrial zones, including the Kiyohara Industrial Complex, one of the largest inland industrial complexes in the country

Industrial manufacturing accounts for 366% of the prefecture's total output Vehicle parts and accessories are the primary products, followed by vehicles, radios and televisions, pharmaceuticals, and wireless communication equipment

Below are goods manufactured in Tochigi with the highest market share in Japan:

Product Share
Camera lenses 713%
X-ray equipment for medical use 545%
Machinery and appliances for dental use 235%
X-ray equipment parts 575%
Injection molded plastic parts 141%

The 2004 industrial analysis report published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

The annual gross agricultural output in Tochigi is about 274 billion yen Rice, vegetables, and livestock are produced in the region Tochigi is also known for strawberries, Chinese chives, and Japanese pears sold throughout Japan and exported to other countries Approximately 55% of Tochigi is covered by forests Mushrooms, such as Shiitake mushrooms, make up half of the forest industry, with an output of approximately 56 billion yen


Tochigi is home to many universities and colleges including those for science and technology, literature, medicine, education, and art Below is an alphabetical list of some of the universities located in Tochigi

  • Ashikaga Institute of Technology
  • Bunsei University of Art, Utsunomiya
  • Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu
  • Hakuoh University, Oyama
  • International University of Health and Welfare, Otawara
  • Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke
  • Oyama National College of Technology
  • Sakushin Gakuin University, Utsunomiya
  • Sano College
  • Teikyo University, Utsunomiya
  • Tochigi College of Industry and Technology Central, Utsunomiya
  • Tochigi College of Industry and Technology North, Nasu
  • Tochigi College of Industry and Technology South, Ashikaga
  • Utsunomiya Kyowa University, Utsunomiya and Nasushiobara
  • Utsunomiya University


Main article: List of people from Tochigi Prefecture


The sports teams listed below are based in Tochigi


  • Tochigi SC Utsunomiya

Ice hockeyedit

  • Nikkō Ice Bucks Nikkō


  • Tochigi Brex


  • Twin Ring Motegi circuit
  • Nikko Circuit


Nikkō National Park is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site which was registered as the 10th World Heritage Site in 1999 This encompasses Rinnō-ji, Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Mount Nantai, and Futarasan Shrine The Kegon Falls, also in Nikkō, is popular with tourists To travel between the city and the falls, automobiles and buses take the Irohazaka, a road with dozens of switchbacks In addition, 400-year-old Japanese Cedars about 13,000 in total line the famous Cedar Avenue of Nikkō for roughly 35 km, making it the longest tree-lined avenue in the world7

Statues in Nikkō Three wise monkeys at Nikkō Tōshō-gū

A more recent and modern attraction is the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit race course, which hosts the only IndyCar race outside the United States The track also hosts many other race events including Formula One and motorcycle races as well as festivals and fireworks events

Tochigi has many traditional festivals and events such as Nikkō Tōshō-gū's 1000 Samurai Procession and Horseback Archery Festival, and the city of Tochigi's Autumn Festival where doll floats are pulled around the city once every five years

Other attractions include:

  • Nikkō Tōshō-gū
  • Rinnō-ji
  • Futarasan Shrine
  • Kegon Falls
  • Lake Chuzenji
  • Kirifuri Falls
  • Mashiko
  • Shiobara Hot Spring
  • Nasu resort area
  • Kinugawa hot spring
  • Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

Transportation and accessedit


Traversing the prefecture along the north-south axis and connecting to the rest of the country are the Tōhoku Expressway and the new and old Route 4 From east to west spans Route 50, connecting southern Tochigi with Ibaraki and Gunma Prefectures

Also connecting Tochigi, Gunma, and Ibaraki is the Kita-Kantō Expressway, with the 185 km that connect the Tochigi-Tsuga Interchange and the Utsunomiya-Kaminokawa Interchange Portions of the Kita-Kantō Expressway are still being constructed and is set to be fully completed by 2011 The highway will link the region's other main transport arteries, the Tōhoku, the Jōban and the Kan-Etsu Expressways, providing a link to the international port of Hitachinaka in Ibaraki


The Tōhoku Shinkansen and the JR Utsunomiya Line are the main railways running north and south in Tochigi Shinkansen runs from Tokyo Station to Oyama in south Tochigi in 43 minutes Utsunomiya can be reached by rail in as little as 48 minutes, and many parts of Tochigi are within commuting range of central Tokyo To the east and west, the Mito and Ryōmō Lines connect Tochigi to Ibaraki and Gunma

Freight is served by the Utsunomiya Freight Terminal

  • East Japan Railway Company
    • Tōhoku Shinkansen
    • Shōnan-Shinjuku Line
    • Utsunomiya Line Tōhoku Main Line
    • Nikkō Line
    • Ryōmō Line
    • Mito Line
    • Karasuyama Line
  • Tobu
    • Isesaki Line
    • Nikko Line
    • Kinugawa Line
    • Utsunomiya Line
    • Sano Line
  • Mooka Railway
  • Yagan Railway
  • Watarase Keikoku Line

Air traveledit

Fukushima Airport is approximately an hour's drive from Utsunomiya on the Tōhoku Expressway International and national air transportation is through Narita International Airport to the east of Tokyo, approximately three hours by vehicle from Utsunomiya


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric 2005 "Tochigi prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p 967, p 967, at Google Books; "Kantō" in p 479, p 479, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Utsunomiya" at p 1019, p 1019, at Google Books
  3. ^ http://whcunescoorg/archive/repcom99htm#913
  4. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" PDF Ministry of the Environment 1 April 2012 Retrieved 18 November 2013 
  5. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p 780, p 780, at Google Books
  6. ^ 1
  7. ^ Gardening World Records Retrieved on 2 November 2008


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth 2005 Japan encyclopedia Cambridge: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External linksedit

  • Official Tochigi Prefecture website
  • Tochigi International Association website
  • Tochigi travel guide from Wikivoyage

Coordinates: 36°31′N 139°49′E / 36517°N 139817°E / 36517; 139817

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