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UpdateMarch 29, 2018
ReleaseMarch 28, 2018

■Travel from TOKYO SKYTREE & the Old District in Tokyo to Nikko, Kinugawa, and Tochigi using a Tobu Discount Pass

The much-awaited TOKYO SKYTREE will finally open on May 22, 2012. Enjoy the latest structure set in a traditional district in Tokyo, and then time slip to the Nikko world heritage site.
Experience the fusion of the future with tradition at this new hot spot in Tokyo.

TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, the latest Tokyo landmark, will open on May 22, 2012. The town includes TOKYO SKYTREE, a new broadcast tower that took four years to build, commercial facilities, an aquarium, and a planetarium. It is TOKYO Solamachi, a town with the tower and the fusion of the future with tradition.
This terrestrial digital broadcasting tower is 634 meters high, the world’s tallest free-standing telecommunications tower. From the observatories—TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO DECK is 350 meters above ground and TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO GALLERIA is 450 meters above ground—visitors have a panoramic view of Tokyo and its environs. The tower will be open for business from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Two types of tickets (reserved date and time, and “today”) can be purchased via the Internet and other methods. The reserved date and time ticket will cost an additional 500 yen. For the first 45 days following the opening, only reserved date and time tickets will be for sale and “today” tickets will not be available during this time.

TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, including the TOKYO SKYTREE, stretches between TOKYO SKYTREE Station (now: Narihirabashi Station) and Oshiage Station. The town is about 400 meters wide and covers about 37,000 square meters and includes the tower, the commercial facility TOKYO Solamachi, TOKYO SKYTREE EAST TOWER office building, a planetarium and an aquarium.
TOKYO Solamachi houses 310 shops including restaurants, shops, and other places where you a variety of services are available. The latest information and trends can be found as well as a traditional “shitamachi” atmosphere. Traditional Tokyo cuisine is served at the eating zone. Sumida Aquarium on the 5th and 6th floors is a vast, urban aquarium. Watching the stars move in the sky on the 360 degree screens at the Konica Minolta Planetarium “Tenku” is a fantastic experience. After the planetarium, why not see the real night view and TOKYO SKYTREE® while dining at Solamachi DINING SKYTREE VIEW on the 30th and 31st floors of TOKYO Solamachi?
The nearest station, Narihirabashi Station, is being renovated and renamed TOKYO SKYTREE Station on March 17 in accordance with the opening of the tower.

Adults(18 and over)2,000yen + 1,000yen
Junior and high school students(aged 12-17)1,500yen + 800yen
Elementary school students(aged 6-11)900yen + 500yen
Children(aged 4-5)600yen + 300yen
Children(under 3)Free

Narihirabashi / Oshiage
Narihirabashi/Oshiage, the town around the tower, is dotted with warm-hearting shops. A stroll around the area is relaxing but glancing upwards reveals the drama of the looming tower. Sumida Edo Kiriko-kan displays traditional crafts of old Tokyo including kiriko cut glass.

The big red lantern is a landmark. Asakusa is the most famous traditional district in Tokyo because of its warm, nostalgic atmosphere. It is home to many traditional restaurants, sweet shops and various other shops. Senso-ji Temple is the oldest temple in Tokyo, founded in 628. Sanja Matsuri, one of the many well-known festivals held at the Asakusa Shrine, takes place every May and fills the air with excitement. Nakamise is a shopping mall continuing for about 250 meters from Kaminarimon Gate to the main grounds of Senso-ji Temple with nearly 100 souvenir shops and restaurants. New and old kimono, traditional accessories such as obi (kimono sashes), folding fans and other unique Japanese items can be found as well as traditional Japanese snacks including the “Kaminari Okoshi” Asakusa specialty crispy rice snack, various types of rice crackers, rice dumplings, and wafers with bean jam filling.

Asakusa was the cultural and entertainment center of Edo (old name of Tokyo) during the Edo period and so there are many traditional restaurants. Asakusa Imahan is a well-known sukiyaki restaurant established in 1895 serving high quality Kuroge-Wagyu (black Japanese beef). Daikokuya was established in 1887 and is famous for its generous servings of tempura domburi, a bowl of boiled rice topped with flavorful Japanese-style battered and fried prawns. Asakusa Umezono has been serving Japanese sweets for 140 years. Many of the other restaurants are also sure to satisfy.

Various events take place in this area throughout the year that include the Cherry Blossom Festival, Sanja Matsuri, Hozuki Ichi (Winter Cherry Fair), Sumida River Fireworks Festival, Samba Carnival, and Hagoita Ichi (Battledore Fair). It’s a great place for strolling around or, for an elegant experience, tour the town by rickshaw. Sumida Park along both banks of the Sumida River is famous for cherry blossom viewing. The contrast of cherry blossoms with the TOKYO SKY TREE is picturesque.

Tochigi City
The town flourished because of its commercial shipping business. Strolling around old storehouses and cruising is enjoyable. An excursion to Mt. Ohira to view the many seasonal flowers is also sure to be a pleasing experience.

The grave of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate who died in 1616, was moved to Mt. Nikko in 1617. After that, an Imperial envoy from Kyoto made a pilgrimage to Nikko Toshogu Shrine every year. Tochigi prospered as an inn town on the way to Nikko and also as a commercial shipping town. Wealthy merchants built plastered storehouses along the Uzuma River.

Tochigi Kuranomachi Museum of Art is housed in three storehouses of a wealthy merchant built about 200 years ago. These large storehouses are some of the oldest among the 250 still remaining in Tochigi City. Tochigi Kuranomachi Kanko-kan is housed in three different types of buildings in a row: a mise-gura (shop) built in 1904, a residential house, and a warehouse. Take a short, romantic cruise down the Uzuma River, formerly used for shipping between Edo and Tochigi, and enjoy the views of the storehouses and the river breezes on a sightseeing boat for about 15 minutes. Yokoyama Kyodokan (Folk Museum) was formerly the residence and business premises of a wealthy merchant who ran a wholesale hemp business and a bank business. Okada Kinen-kan/Bettei Okinajima belongs to the original family owners with a more than 500-year history. The hereditary treasures of the family are stored in the warehouse on the vast premises.

Nikko has wonderful sightseeing spots including a world heritage site and theme parks. It is also blessed with beautiful scenic nature in every season. Two shrines and one temple (Furatasan Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, and Rinno-ji Temple) and the ruins surrounding them have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Representative Japanese religious architectural structures and the Tokugawa Ieyasu mausoleum are highlights in the area. At Toshogu, the shrine dedicated to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, visitors flock to see the Yomeimon Gate (Gate of Sunlight) decorated with over 500 ornate gilt wood carvings in vivid colors and the charming “three wise monkeys” that symbolize the principle of “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil” taught to children at an early age. In the main building, the Sanbutsudo Hall (Hall of the Three Buddhas) in Rinno-ji Temple, there are large gilt statues of the three deities enshrined in the temple: the Amida-Nyorai Buddha, the Senju (thousand-armed) Kannon, and the Bato (horse-headed) Kannon. Taiyuin in Rinno-ji, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu who was the builder
of Toshogu Shrine, has a calm, stately atmosphere. Nikko Futarasan Shrine is historically dedicated to Mt.Futara (also known as Mt. Nantai), its sacred mountain. Walking among the 100-year-old cedar trees is a spiritual experience.

The area on the other side of the Irohazaka mountain pass including Yumoto Onsen is called “Oku-Nikko,” and abounds in natural scenery with lakes, waterfalls, grassy meadows, and marshlands. Mt. Nantai is 2,486 meters high and provides good hiking from spring to fall. Lake Chuzenji was formed in the valley created by the eruption of Mt. Nantai. Kegon Falls has a drop of 97 meters and is classified as one of the Three Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Japan. Senjogahara is a highland moor 1,400 meters above sea level. The alpine plants are particularly beautiful during summer.

The hot spring resort along the Kinugawa gorge is one of the most famous hot spring resorts in the Kanto region.

A little further by train from Nikko is Kinugawa Onsen, one of the largest hot springs in the Kanto region, and many Japanese-style inns and hotels scenically located along the grand gorges of the Kinugawa River. Kinugawa Rain Kudari is an exciting 40-minute cruise on the river to see the weird rocks of all sizes on the 6-km course. Tobu World Square is an exhibit of 1/25th-sized replicas of 102 famous buildings from 21 countries in the world—it’ s like being Gulliver traveling around the world. TOKYO SKY TREE has already been added. In Edo Wonderland, Edo style street scenes are reproduced. Super action Ninjas perform as are a variety of other plays. After enjoying the day, relax in the wonderful spas of Kinugawa to refresh yourself and overcome the fatigue of your exciting adventures.

■Tochigi Prefecture

Located about 100 kilometers north of Tokyo, Tochigi Prefecture has many attractions including cultural and historical assets, hot springs, and nature. Nikko City is home to world heritage sites and Tochigi City has a charming historical atmosphere. Enjoy various activities in Tochigi such as viewing the cherry blossoms and other seasonal flowers and picking your own fruit in a local orchard.

Utsunomiya / Kanuma Area
Utsunomiya, a place to go for gyoza, cocktails, and jazz, and Kanuma famous for satsuki azalea blossoms and strawberries.

The capital city of Tochigi Prefecture, Utsunomiya, is famous for its gyoza. There are about 70 Utsunomiya Gyoza Association stores in the city, in addition to non-member gyoza stores. A gyoza map is available at the tourist information center in Utsunomiya Station. The area has long prospered from the production of Oya stone (igneous rock) and has many tourist spots related to local Oya stone such as the Matsugamine Catholic Church and the gyoza statue in front of the West Exit of the station.

You can also enjoy jazz in Utsunomiya, home of Sadao Watanabe, the world-renown jazz player. The city is also the home of many bartenders who have won international cocktail contests. Enjoy cocktails by first-class bartenders at one of the many unique bars.

Flowers and fruit:
Hachimanyama Park in the center of the city is famous for beautiful flowers in natural landscaping with approximately 830 cherry
trees and 5,000 azalea bushes. Utsunomiya Castle Park has restored castle platforms and mounds with various flowers blooming throughout the springtime. You can enjoy picking fruit in season throughout the year at ”pick it yourself” farms in the city. In summer, cherries and pears are available, apples are ready to pick in autumn, and strawberries can be picked from winter to spring.

Hands-on experience opportunities:
Try Oya stone carving at Oya Ishi Hands-on Museum, Oya stone working at Kawauchiya Kiseki Hands-on Museum, and drawing on fukube (dried rind of moonflower fruit) or kibuna (yellow carassius) clay bells at Fukube-do shop.

Kanuma, between Utsunomiya and Nikko is famous for its woodworking industry, especially the highly-artistic craft of kumiko zaiku (woodworking). The Art Museum of Kawakami Sumio exhibits works of Sumio Kawakami, the renowned wood-block print artist and poet. Some of the many chokoku yatai (sculptured wooden floats), mobile versions of the Tosho-gu Shrine in Nikko, are on display at Yatai-no-Machi Chuo Park.

Flowers and fruit:
Kanuma produces Tochiotome, a delicious strawberry variety. You can pick them for yourself even in winter at Deai-no-mori Strawberry Farm. April is the best time to visit Senjusan Park to see the famous cherry blossoms. The park also has beautiful tsutsuji (azaleas) in early summer. Kanuma is also the biggest satsuki azalea producer in Japan and holds an annual Satsuki Festival in June. The festival is held at the Kaboku Center, a large-scale bonsai store selling various kinds of flowers from all over the world
throughout the year.

Hands-on experience opportunities:
Kanuma City is the biggest hemp producer in Japan. Try the rare art of making hemp paper at Yashu Mashi Kobo.

Mashiko/Motegi Area
Try making pottery, riding on a steam locomotive and motor sports!

Mashiko is famous for earthenware pottery production. Mashiko-yaki pottery is characterized by beautiful deep colors and interesting textures. There are about 400 kamamoto (pottery factories). Iwashita Pottery Shop has the oldest climbing kiln in the town and
offers a factory tour and hands-on experience. Mashiko Sankokan Museum exhibits various artworks including those by Shoji Hamada, a living national treasure. You will find many favorite pieces at stores along Jonaizaka Street or Mashiko-yaki Kamamoto Kyohan Center but the best deals are at the pottery fair held every May and November. Many visit Mashiko from all over Japan to see the plethora of pottery.

Flowers and fruit:
Visitors can partake of various kinds of fruit picking and flower viewing. Enjoy strawberry picking from winter to spring, blueberry picking in summer, and potato and apple picking in autumn. View the hydrangeas at Ajisai Park in early summer and the cosmos and buckwheat flowers in the fields as well.

Hands-on experience opportunities:
Try making a pot using a wheel under the direction of local potters at various pottery shops in Mashiko. You can also make and decorate coil or slab pieces. It takes about 2 hours to finish your piece (to be fired later and delivered to your home). The 40-minute pottery experience on a wheel at Kamamoto Yokoyama is recommended.

A steam locomotive (SL) train runs from Shimodate Station to Motegi Station every weekend, on national holidays, and during summer holidays. Twin Ring Motegi is a motor sport race track with two race tracks sometimes used for international races. Twin Ring Motegi
also includes a variety of facilities and activities for the whole family to enjoy including s motorsports amusement programs, Kurane, a sky-walking facility, and the Honda Collection Hall, where you will be welcomed by the famous humanoid robot ASIMO.

Flowers and fruit:
Hananoyama (Kinohana Nature Park) has about 35,000 flowering trees. The cherry blossoms, mountain azaleas, and hydrangeas bloom from April to early July and the red and yellow autumn leaves are in full grandeur in autumn.

Hands-on experience opportunities:
In Ose, the most scenic spot along the Naka River, a “tourist fishing weir” is built between July and October where you can try catching the ayu (sweet fish) swimming in the river.

Nasu/Nasushiobara Area
Highland resort area with abundant nature and hot springs nestled in the mountains.

Nasu town is located in the northernmost part of Tochigi Prefecture. Holding abundant tourist resources, such as Nasu mountains, which are located in the northeast part of Nikko National Park, and Nasu hot spring resort with about 1,400 years of history, it is one of the most famous tourist areas in Japan.The highland area, the Nasu Kogen Plateau, is one of the most famous summer resorts in Japan due to its pleasant climate and includes many summer residences, recreation facilities, and accommodation facilities. Scattered throughout the wilderness area are many golf courses, theme parks, and farms open to tourists. The Nasu Imperial Villa, a “royal resort” built in 1926, is where the Emperor and other Imperial family members go for their annual summer retreat

Flowers and fruit:
The red yama tsutsuji (mountain azaleas) at Yahata and the white goyo tsutsuji (five-leaves azaleas) at Naka-no Okura-one (ridge) are delightful for visitors in May. The autumn leaves on Nasu mountains are beautifully ablaze in red, orange and yellow.

Hands-on experience opportunities:
You can enjoy mountain climbing, trekking, and snowshoeing surrounded by the great outdoors. Horse riding, cow-milking, and making butter and ice cream are also fun. Glass sculpture, pottery and other activities are available at many facilities.

Shiobara hot spring resort, the iconic Nasushiobara hot spring resort, includes 11 different hot springs located along the Hoki River with many open-air bathing facilities for day trippers. Itamuro hot spring resort is also located in this mountain valley. This area has many dairy farms; in fact, Tochigi Prefecture is the second largest producer of raw milk in Japan next to Hokkaido. Nasu Garden
Outlet Shopping Mall has about 110 stores including famous brand shops and restaurants, as well as the Loco Market where you can buy locally-grown vegetables and sweets made with local milk. Soup-iri yakisoba (yakisoba served in soup) is a popular B-class gourmet dish served in this area. Enjoy the combination of spicy yakisoba sauce in a soy sauce-based soup.

Flowers and fruit Have fun picking delicious ripe strawberries grown in hothouses heated by the hot springs at the strawberry farm at Nasu Senbonmatsu Farm from late December to May every year. View the beautiful cherry blossoms at Torigamori Park in spring, the daylilies in early summer, the colorful lilies in summer at Hunter Mountain Lily Park, and the sunflowers at Roadside Station Meiji no mori/Kuroiso. Take the ropeway at Hunter Mountain Shiobara to get the best view of the beautiful autumn foliage.

Ashikaga/Sano Area
Enjoy outlet shopping and ramen after strolling around the historical towns.

This was the home of the Ashikaga Clan who established the Muromachi shogunate (1392-1573) followed by a prosperous textile industry in the 17th century and so this city has interesting historical sites. The Ashikaga Gakko (school) is Japan’s oldest academic institution, said to be founded in the early Kamakura Period (1192-1333). Banna-ji Temple is associated with the Ashikaga Clan and has retained the atmosphere of a samurai residence in the Kamakura period. The Watarase River goes through the center of the city and the area has beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and bright yellow gingko leaves in autumn. A stroll around Ishidatami Street (cobbled street) lined with old-style storehouses and pleasant old buildings is pleasure.

In Ashikaga Flower Park, view the beautiful wisteria blossoms for more than 1 month on the 145-year-old spreading Japanese wisteria tree covering in an area of 900 square meters.

Sano ramen can be found in the 200 ramen shops in Sano. Enjoy the wonderful “al dente” noodles in the clear soy sauce-based soup. Soshu-ji Temple is commonly known as Sano Yakuyoke Daishi (temple for expelling evils). Sano Premium Outlets® near Sano Fujioka I.C. on Tohoku Expressway is the perfect place for shopping at 180 domestic and international brand stores. For those who like nature, hike around Mount Horai and visit the Horaisan Shrine and enjoy the beautiful seasonal scenery. Flowers and fruit One of the biggest colonies of katakuri (dogtooth violet) in Japan is at Man-yo Shizen Koen Katakurinosato. The pale purple flowers bloom from mid-March
to early-April every year. The annual Sano Spring Flower Festival, or Katakuri-no-hana Matsuri, is held in March. You can pick vine-ripened strawberries from December to mid-May at the strawberry fields on Sano Tourist Farm.

Tochigi Prefecture is full of historical places, wild nature, hot springs, gourmet food, flowers, and shopping spots, all with easy access from Tokyo. Tochigi is waiting for your visit!