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Explore The Beauty, Culture, And Cuisine Of The Tochigi Prefecture In Japan

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Tochigi Prefecture in Japan is the perfect destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience that combines stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and historical landmarks. Three captivating destinations in the region, namely Nikko, Oku-Nikko, and Utsunomiya, are linked by the water flowing from the mountains, which also serves as a vital resource for the region’s agriculture and sake production. Easily accessible from Tokyo, this region is an ideal place for a short two- or three-night getaway.

The pure water of the region plays a crucial role in sake production, with Tochigi Prefecture being known for its high-quality sake.

Nikko’s Sake Secrets

Watanabesahei Sake Brewery, located near Central Nikko, has been using the pure underground water from the Oku-Nikko mountains for over 180 years to craft exceptional sake. Visitors can take a tour of the brewery to witness the sake-making process and indulge in sake tasting paired with Japanese snacks. Nearby is the Katayama Sake Brewery, which specializes in Genshu, an unfiltered and undiluted sake, also utilizing the pristine underground water from Oku-Nikko mountains to create exceptional rice wine.

Utsunomiya’s Highlights

Utsunomiya offers a blend of history, culture, and culinary excellence. Visitors can explore the Wakayama Farm, a tranquil oasis that spans over fifty-six acres and boasts bamboo groves, where they can even participate in a workshop to make bamboo cups and plates. The region’s fertile soil, nourished by its pure waters, also contributes to its exceptional cuisine, as seen in Hachinojo Restaurant’s 10-course tasting menu that celebrates the blessings of water from Oku-Nikko, featuring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

Utsunomiya is also renowned for its gyoza, with dining establishments like Kirasse and Samurai Jugemu offering exceptional gyoza cuisine.

Nightlife in Utsunomiya

As the sun sets, Utsunomiya comes alive with its vibrant nightlife, offering sophisticated jazz bars, craft cocktail bars, and cozy izakayas, providing a perfect end to a day of exploration.

The Tochigi Prefecture, including Nikko, Oku-Nikko, and Utsunomiya, offers a range of experiences, from natural wonders to cultural and culinary delights, all connected by the region’s magical waters. Whether it’s exploring the mountains, enjoying sake tasting, wandering through bamboo forests, or savoring exceptional cuisine, a trip to Tochigi is sure to create lasting memories.

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