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Utsunomiya
宇都宮

Utsunomiya (宇都宮) is the capital of Tochigi prefecture, Japan.

Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture.

Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cocktail bars .

Utsunomiya (宇都宮) is the capital of Tochigi prefecture, Japan.

Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture.

Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cocktail bars .

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Authors: Pschemp

Under Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 License

Get around

There are no subways or additional trains in Utsunomiya; there is a light-rail system under development, but it will not be completed for several more years. For most tourist staying for one night or wishing to simply shop, most stores, hotels, and restaurants are within convenient walking distance from the east and west exits of Utsunomiya Station.

By Foot

Much of Utsunomiya can easily be reached by foot from Utsunomiya Station. Some major shopping, hotels, grocery stores, and other shops can be walked to in five minutes or less. For other areas, such as Orion-Dori or the jazz clubs/restaurants, you can expect about 10 to 15 minutes.

The crime rate is low and incidents are rare. However, do take care at night. Always carry ID with you at all times, as police often perform "Gaijin Checks" (Foreigner Checks) for valid visiting or working visas.

By Taxi

Taxis are readily available from the west side of Utsunomiya station, first floor. Take the west exit, and immediately bear right. Taxis can be found immediately to the right of the bus section. Fares start at about 1,000 Yen and climb fast.

By Bus

Bus services are also available primarily from the west exit (Utsunomiya JR Station). For assistance on finding your bus route, there is a help desk station directly next to the Shinkansen entrance (2nd Floor), as well as a computerized system located just outside of the 2nd floor entrance. Fares start at about 200 yen per adult.

Routes specific to the east side of Utsunomiya (IE, Bell Mall, Utsunomiya University) are available from the east exit of Utsunomiya JR. Follow the walkway until you see the semi-famous “Gyoza-Statue,” approximately where boarding occurs.

A number of free or reduced bus services are available to retail stores such as Fukudaya or Joyful Honda. These bus services usually run by the hour, but are not typically useful to the average tourist.

Please note: Utsunomiya JR Station is undergoing renovations for that will switch the majority of bus, taxi, and other vehicular traffic from the west side to the east side. This stage is expected to be completed in late 2008/early 2009. Check signs and information at arrival for updates.

By Bicycle

Relatively easy, if you know how to cycle, there's always a renting bicycle centre just nearby to the JR Utsunomiya Station. Once you exit from the station, walk towards LALA SQUARE SHOPPING MALL. You will see a bicycle shop across from LaLa Square and the McDonalds next door.

Bicycle parking is restricted in some areas. While theft is unlikely, remember to lock your bike and take your valuables with you. Be careful of traffic, and observe traffic laws and signals especially at night.

""By Rail"" A LRT (Light Rail Transit) System is currently under various stages of development and construction. Operation is expected to start sometime in 2013. No other information is available at this time.

Get around

There are no subways or additional trains in Utsunomiya; there is a light-rail system under development, but it will not be completed for several more years. For most tourist staying for one night or wishing to simply shop, most stores, hotels, and restaurants are within convenient walking distance from the east and west exits of Utsunomiya Station.

By Foot

Much of Utsunomiya can easily be reached by foot from Utsunomiya Station. Some major shopping, hotels, grocery stores, and other shops can be walked to in five minutes or less. For other areas, such as Orion-Dori or the jazz clubs/restaurants, you can expect about 10 to 15 minutes.

The crime rate is low and incidents are rare. However, do take care at night. Always carry ID with you at all times, as police often perform "Gaijin Checks" (Foreigner Checks) for valid visiting or working visas.

By Taxi

Taxis are readily available from the west side of Utsunomiya station, first floor. Take the west exit, and immediately bear right. Taxis can be found immediately to the right of the bus section. Fares start at about 1,000 Yen and climb fast.

By Bus

Bus services are also available primarily from the west exit (Utsunomiya JR Station). For assistance on finding your bus route, there is a help desk station directly next to the Shinkansen entrance (2nd Floor), as well as a computerized system located just outside of the 2nd floor entrance. Fares start at about 200 yen per adult.

Routes specific to the east side of Utsunomiya (IE, Bell Mall, Utsunomiya University) are available from the east exit of Utsunomiya JR. Follow the walkway until you see the semi-famous “Gyoza-Statue,” approximately where boarding occurs.

A number of free or reduced bus services are available to retail stores such as Fukudaya or Joyful Honda. These bus services usually run by the hour, but are not typically useful to the average tourist.

Please note: Utsunomiya JR Station is undergoing renovations for that will switch the majority of bus, taxi, and other vehicular traffic from the west side to the east side. This stage is expected to be completed in late 2008/early 2009. Check signs and information at arrival for updates.

By Bicycle

Relatively easy, if you know how to cycle, there's always a renting bicycle centre just nearby to the JR Utsunomiya Station. Once you exit from the station, walk towards LALA SQUARE SHOPPING MALL. You will see a bicycle shop across from LaLa Square and the McDonalds next door.

Bicycle parking is restricted in some areas. While theft is unlikely, remember to lock your bike and take your valuables with you. Be careful of traffic, and observe traffic laws and signals especially at night.

""By Rail"" A LRT (Light Rail Transit) System is currently under various stages of development and construction. Operation is expected to start sometime in 2013. No other information is available at this time.

Do

  • Romantic Mura, Nissato-machi 254 (The No. 51 bus for Romantic Mura leaves from platform no. 8 outside JR Utsunomiya's West Exit and takes about 40 minutes to reach the park.), +81 028-665-8800. Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM. The park has a huge onsen, a brewpub and food court, and a FlowerDome containing tropical plants, hydroponically grown herbs, and a wide variety of orchids. Park admission free, FlowerDome ¥410, beer ¥500.
  • Hachimanyama Park, Hanawada 5-2-70 (From JR Utsunomiya Station, take a Kanto bus bound for Sakushingakuin and get off Kencho-mae. Then walk 15 minutes.), +81 028-622-6002. The park is quiet, relaxed, and usually pretty empty except for certain summer celebrations. It contains a tower-viewing area, a large foot-bridge, and a play areas for families. It is a worth a picnic if you have extra time.
  • Utsunomiya Zoo, Kami Kanai 552-2 (From JR Utsunomiya Station, take a Kanto bus bound for Ishinada, get off Shimokanai, and walk for five minutes.), +81 028-665-3257. You can feed many of the animals here.
  • Motegi twin race : here you will get to see the museum of Honda, Asimo apart from the race track . From Utsunomiya, it's about 1-hour taxi ride, or you need to take a bus, which on weekdays only goes as far as Motegi station (a tiny station) nearby. From there, you have to take a short taxi ride. On the weekends, there is a bus service to Twin Ring Motegi.

(Weekends) Bus from Utsunomiya - Motegi station - TWM 7:15 - 8:24 8:50 - 10:03 - 10:18 13:30 - 14:43 15:40 - 16:53 17:30 - 18:41 20:02 - 21:27

Do

  • Romantic Mura, Nissato-machi 254 (The No. 51 bus for Romantic Mura leaves from platform no. 8 outside JR Utsunomiya's West Exit and takes about 40 minutes to reach the park.), +81 028-665-8800. Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM. The park has a huge onsen, a brewpub and food court, and a FlowerDome containing tropical plants, hydroponically grown herbs, and a wide variety of orchids. Park admission free, FlowerDome ¥410, beer ¥500.
  • Hachimanyama Park, Hanawada 5-2-70 (From JR Utsunomiya Station, take a Kanto bus bound for Sakushingakuin and get off Kencho-mae. Then walk 15 minutes.), +81 028-622-6002. The park is quiet, relaxed, and usually pretty empty except for certain summer celebrations. It contains a tower-viewing area, a large foot-bridge, and a play areas for families. It is a worth a picnic if you have extra time.
  • Utsunomiya Zoo, Kami Kanai 552-2 (From JR Utsunomiya Station, take a Kanto bus bound for Ishinada, get off Shimokanai, and walk for five minutes.), +81 028-665-3257. You can feed many of the animals here.
  • Motegi twin race : here you will get to see the museum of Honda, Asimo apart from the race track . From Utsunomiya, it's about 1-hour taxi ride, or you need to take a bus, which on weekdays only goes as far as Motegi station (a tiny station) nearby. From there, you have to take a short taxi ride. On the weekends, there is a bus service to Twin Ring Motegi.

(Weekends) Bus from Utsunomiya - Motegi station - TWM 7:15 - 8:24 8:50 - 10:03 - 10:18 13:30 - 14:43 15:40 - 16:53 17:30 - 18:41 20:02 - 21:27

Buy

In comparison to Tokyo, Utsunomiya is not much of a place to shop. It does, however, have some variety of stores to keep individuals busy for an afternoon. The vast majority of malls are easily located on or near main street (starting from Utsunomiya JR East Exit). You can walk to most worthwhile areas in 15 minutes, or take a five-minute bus ride.

  • La La Square (Directly across from the east exit of JR Utsunomiya Station.). The building contains several clothing and shoe stores, a 100 yen store, a bookstore, an electronic store, a pharmacy, a coffee shop, and a grocery store in the basement. There’s also an excellent set of ramen and gyoza restaurants in the basement.
  • Utsunomiya Station Stores (Within Utsunomiya Station.). Several shops, a grocery store on the bottom floor, gyoza eateries, ramen shops, and souvenir shops.
  • Parco (Located down Utsunomiya Main Street, exactly opposite Utsunomiya’s main shine, Futaara-san.). 10 floors containing mostly clothing. Starbucks on the first floor, a good bookstore on the 8th, a Wired Café on the 2nd, and the Dragon Fish Café on the 10th. A new shopping mall has just opened across the street, but much of it is still under construction and development.
  • Tobu Department Store (In Tobu Station). Finer shopping for the area.
  • Orion Dori (Runs east from Tōbu station towards JR station, just south of the main street Ōdori and parallel to it.). A pedestrian mall, this is the main site for the yearly festivals Utsunomiya holds during the start of August. Connects with many of the above mentioned locations, such as Pargo and Tobu Department Store. Mostly clothing stores with bars opening at nighttime.
  • Bell Mall (10 minutes via bus. Ask the information counter for the exact bus number.). biggest mall in the area. Contains several floors of stores, a large grocery, movie theatre, and a large gym.
  • Fukudaya (There are two locations, Utsunomiya and Interpark, both accessed by bus.). Not particularly large, but contains more eateries and shopping possibilities.

Buy

In comparison to Tokyo, Utsunomiya is not much of a place to shop. It does, however, have some variety of stores to keep individuals busy for an afternoon. The vast majority of malls are easily located on or near main street (starting from Utsunomiya JR East Exit). You can walk to most worthwhile areas in 15 minutes, or take a five-minute bus ride.

  • La La Square (Directly across from the east exit of JR Utsunomiya Station.). The building contains several clothing and shoe stores, a 100 yen store, a bookstore, an electronic store, a pharmacy, a coffee shop, and a grocery store in the basement. There’s also an excellent set of ramen and gyoza restaurants in the basement.
  • Utsunomiya Station Stores (Within Utsunomiya Station.). Several shops, a grocery store on the bottom floor, gyoza eateries, ramen shops, and souvenir shops.
  • Parco (Located down Utsunomiya Main Street, exactly opposite Utsunomiya’s main shine, Futaara-san.). 10 floors containing mostly clothing. Starbucks on the first floor, a good bookstore on the 8th, a Wired Café on the 2nd, and the Dragon Fish Café on the 10th. A new shopping mall has just opened across the street, but much of it is still under construction and development.
  • Tobu Department Store (In Tobu Station). Finer shopping for the area.
  • Orion Dori (Runs east from Tōbu station towards JR station, just south of the main street Ōdori and parallel to it.). A pedestrian mall, this is the main site for the yearly festivals Utsunomiya holds during the start of August. Connects with many of the above mentioned locations, such as Pargo and Tobu Department Store. Mostly clothing stores with bars opening at nighttime.
  • Bell Mall (10 minutes via bus. Ask the information counter for the exact bus number.). biggest mall in the area. Contains several floors of stores, a large grocery, movie theatre, and a large gym.
  • Fukudaya (There are two locations, Utsunomiya and Interpark, both accessed by bus.). Not particularly large, but contains more eateries and shopping possibilities.

Drink

Utsunomiya bills itself as a jazz town and a cocktail area. The quality varies however, in both departments of jazz and cocktails. Cover charges as high as 4000 yen can be expected, with cocktails starting at 1000 yen per drink.

For regular bar experiences, see below.

  • Akai Tori, Baba-dori 2-3-10 (on the corner opposite Parco Department Store and Futaarasan Shrine), tel. 028-635-5377. A coffee shop decorated with collectible Hawaiian and Polynesian kitsch mostly from the 1940s and 1950s. The friendly owner will do his best to accommodate your musical taste from his huge collection of CDs.
  • The Lion’s Head (1800 – ?) (on Utsunomiya main street, several blocks from Utsunomiya Tobu Station and about 10-15 minutes walk from Utsunomiya JR, across from the Washington Hotel). Remodeled in July of 2007, this is the primary hangout for gaijins in the area. Atmosphere is your typical English pub, be it without a large screen TV for soccer games. Beers start at about 600 yen, Guinness, other hard to find brews, and wine are available. Fish and chips are worth ordering off of the menu, but most other food items are too small and unevenly priced. English spoken.
  • Nohkin’s (1800 – 0200 (S-Th), -0500 (F, Sat). (Directly above The Lion’s Head on Utsunomiya Main Street, 2nd floor. See above). The bar itself is dark and the music quality varies (live or recorded), but the drink menu is one of the more aptly available. A large assortment of cocktails, wines, champagnes, and brews from local and international areas are available. Drinks start at about 500 yen. Ask about their famous waiter who bares a strong resemblance to Ichiro of American Baseball fame. Some English spoken.
  • Bird Land (On the same side of the road as The Lion's Head, cross the crossing immediately west of The Lion's Head, it's about 50 yards away). This is the most well known night club in Utsunomiya. Expect to find Japanese, Brazilians and some native English speakers there on the weekends. Plays mainly dance and hip-hop. Serves Kirin, Guinness, a large array of spirits etc. Serves particularly good western food. Mostly deserted during the week. Also check out the Izakaya Samurai which is below Bird Land.
  • Kento's (Just off Orion Street, turn left at McDonnald's before you hit Tobu station). This is a chain bar you can find in number of cities, the slogan is "oldies but goodies". The design is of a 60's Greaser bar. It hosts live bands playing mostly 60's & 70's music.

Drink

Utsunomiya bills itself as a jazz town and a cocktail area. The quality varies however, in both departments of jazz and cocktails. Cover charges as high as 4000 yen can be expected, with cocktails starting at 1000 yen per drink.

For regular bar experiences, see below.

  • Akai Tori, Baba-dori 2-3-10 (on the corner opposite Parco Department Store and Futaarasan Shrine), tel. 028-635-5377. A coffee shop decorated with collectible Hawaiian and Polynesian kitsch mostly from the 1940s and 1950s. The friendly owner will do his best to accommodate your musical taste from his huge collection of CDs.
  • The Lion’s Head (1800 – ?) (on Utsunomiya main street, several blocks from Utsunomiya Tobu Station and about 10-15 minutes walk from Utsunomiya JR, across from the Washington Hotel). Remodeled in July of 2007, this is the primary hangout for gaijins in the area. Atmosphere is your typical English pub, be it without a large screen TV for soccer games. Beers start at about 600 yen, Guinness, other hard to find brews, and wine are available. Fish and chips are worth ordering off of the menu, but most other food items are too small and unevenly priced. English spoken.
  • Nohkin’s (1800 – 0200 (S-Th), -0500 (F, Sat). (Directly above The Lion’s Head on Utsunomiya Main Street, 2nd floor. See above). The bar itself is dark and the music quality varies (live or recorded), but the drink menu is one of the more aptly available. A large assortment of cocktails, wines, champagnes, and brews from local and international areas are available. Drinks start at about 500 yen. Ask about their famous waiter who bares a strong resemblance to Ichiro of American Baseball fame. Some English spoken.
  • Bird Land (On the same side of the road as The Lion's Head, cross the crossing immediately west of The Lion's Head, it's about 50 yards away). This is the most well known night club in Utsunomiya. Expect to find Japanese, Brazilians and some native English speakers there on the weekends. Plays mainly dance and hip-hop. Serves Kirin, Guinness, a large array of spirits etc. Serves particularly good western food. Mostly deserted during the week. Also check out the Izakaya Samurai which is below Bird Land.
  • Kento's (Just off Orion Street, turn left at McDonnald's before you hit Tobu station). This is a chain bar you can find in number of cities, the slogan is "oldies but goodies". The design is of a 60's Greaser bar. It hosts live bands playing mostly 60's & 70's music.

Understand

Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture.

Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cocktail bars .

Understand

Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture.

Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cocktail bars .

Eat

Utsunomiya is most famous for its gyōza (餃子) dumplings, available sauteed, deep-fried, boiled, or and steamed with all sorts of stuffings all around the city. You can find gyoza just about anywhere, but here are some key areas.

  • PASEO, Utsunomiya main street, between Utsunomiya JR (10 min) and Tobu (5 min), across from Pargo department store). B1 several restaurants, reasonably priced.
  • Utsunomiya Station Stores, level one. Look next to the grocery store for long queues.
  • Orion Dori, various. There are several gyoza specialty restaurants throughout the stretch.

In addition, there are plenty of other restaurants elsewhere.

  • La La Square Ramen Town (La La Square, B1, directly across the street from Utsunomiya JR Station). Several “kippu” ramen shops specializing in several types of ramen and gyoza. The atmosphere is actually rather nice for “kippu” ramen. Purchase your meal by buying a ticket from the automated machine, then presenting it to the staff. Bowls start at about 700 yen.
  • Dragon Fish Café (10F, Pargo Department Store, 10 minute walk straight down Utsunomiya main street from Utsunomiya JR Station). Due to the location in a department store, the café closes at 11PM, much to the disappointment of it’s customers. It serves a very good selection of pastas and varied Japanese-Fusion entries. Best tacos in Utsunomiya. The drink menu is also quite good; there is a fully functioning bar that will not make a “sitting charge,” that many Japanese bars partake in. There is also an 8-course, all-you-can-drink dinner option for 3500 yen (great for drinks, but the courses vary in quality). Manager is an R&B fan.
  • Wired Café (Pargo 2nd Floor, 10 minute walk straight down Utsunomiya main street from Utsunomiya JR Station). A popular Tokyo chain restaurant. The main attraction of this café are several computers set up for customer use while waiting for food, as well as the Wi-Fi in the restaurant. Food is a mix of Western entries, dishes are moderately to high prices for a cafe.
  • C'est La Vie Restaurant Bar, Mageshi-cho 1-chome (near the Hotel New Asahi between Ō-dōri and Orion-dōri; opens onto the alley that meanders alongside the tiny Kamagawa), tel. 028-632-0402. Open W-M (closed Tu) 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, 5:00 to 10:30 pm. Offers a variety of interesting hors d'oeuvres, including carpaccio of ham, bonito (katsuo), or horsemeat (馬肉 baniku). The early bird (5-7 pm) set menu, with choice of either pasta or paella, costs ¥1890. House wines cost ¥350 per glass, wines of the month ¥600 per glass, bottles ¥2500 and up. Start with a shot of bittermelon elixir at ¥250.

For Starbucks fiends, there are Starbucks coffee shops located in Utsunomiya Station (with Wi-Fi), Pargo Department Store, and Bell Mall. There are also plently of fast food chains, such as a Mr. Donut located directly across from Utsunomiya Station ( outside the main entrance, left side), Mos Burger (inside Utsunomiya Station, first floor), and a McDonalds (outside the main entrance, right side). For those wishing to stay on a budget, the grocery stores located in La La Square (B1) and Utsunomiya Station (1) are your best bet.

Eat

Utsunomiya is most famous for its gyōza (餃子) dumplings, available sauteed, deep-fried, boiled, or and steamed with all sorts of stuffings all around the city. You can find gyoza just about anywhere, but here are some key areas.

  • PASEO, Utsunomiya main street, between Utsunomiya JR (10 min) and Tobu (5 min), across from Pargo department store). B1 several restaurants, reasonably priced.
  • Utsunomiya Station Stores, level one. Look next to the grocery store for long queues.
  • Orion Dori, various. There are several gyoza specialty restaurants throughout the stretch.

In addition, there are plenty of other restaurants elsewhere.

  • La La Square Ramen Town (La La Square, B1, directly across the street from Utsunomiya JR Station). Several “kippu” ramen shops specializing in several types of ramen and gyoza. The atmosphere is actually rather nice for “kippu” ramen. Purchase your meal by buying a ticket from the automated machine, then presenting it to the staff. Bowls start at about 700 yen.
  • Dragon Fish Café (10F, Pargo Department Store, 10 minute walk straight down Utsunomiya main street from Utsunomiya JR Station). Due to the location in a department store, the café closes at 11PM, much to the disappointment of it’s customers. It serves a very good selection of pastas and varied Japanese-Fusion entries. Best tacos in Utsunomiya. The drink menu is also quite good; there is a fully functioning bar that will not make a “sitting charge,” that many Japanese bars partake in. There is also an 8-course, all-you-can-drink dinner option for 3500 yen (great for drinks, but the courses vary in quality). Manager is an R&B fan.
  • Wired Café (Pargo 2nd Floor, 10 minute walk straight down Utsunomiya main street from Utsunomiya JR Station). A popular Tokyo chain restaurant. The main attraction of this café are several computers set up for customer use while waiting for food, as well as the Wi-Fi in the restaurant. Food is a mix of Western entries, dishes are moderately to high prices for a cafe.
  • C'est La Vie Restaurant Bar, Mageshi-cho 1-chome (near the Hotel New Asahi between Ō-dōri and Orion-dōri; opens onto the alley that meanders alongside the tiny Kamagawa), tel. 028-632-0402. Open W-M (closed Tu) 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, 5:00 to 10:30 pm. Offers a variety of interesting hors d'oeuvres, including carpaccio of ham, bonito (katsuo), or horsemeat (馬肉 baniku). The early bird (5-7 pm) set menu, with choice of either pasta or paella, costs ¥1890. House wines cost ¥350 per glass, wines of the month ¥600 per glass, bottles ¥2500 and up. Start with a shot of bittermelon elixir at ¥250.

For Starbucks fiends, there are Starbucks coffee shops located in Utsunomiya Station (with Wi-Fi), Pargo Department Store, and Bell Mall. There are also plently of fast food chains, such as a Mr. Donut located directly across from Utsunomiya Station ( outside the main entrance, left side), Mos Burger (inside Utsunomiya Station, first floor), and a McDonalds (outside the main entrance, right side). For those wishing to stay on a budget, the grocery stores located in La La Square (B1) and Utsunomiya Station (1) are your best bet.

Get in

By plane

From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way to reach Utsunomiya is to take the Narita Express train to Tokyo Station and transfer to the Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko, Nasuno or Tsubasa service (2 1/4 hours, ¥7800).

From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line train to Shinagawa, then the Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku line train to Tokyo Station. From there, take the Tohoku Shinkansen (about 1 3/4 hours, ¥5200). A cheaper trip is to continue up the Yamanote to Ueno station and change to the JR Utsunomiya commuter line (3 hours, ¥2290).

Separate Airport Limousine bus services - each called the Marronnier - run between JR Utsunomiya Station and both Narita Airport (2 3/4 hours, ¥4070) and Haneda Airport (2 3/4 hours, ¥3500).

By train

Utsunomiya is a major train hub served by the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, JR Tohoku Main Line, Tobu Nikko Line and JR Utsunomiya Line.

Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko, Max Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tsubasa trains depart from Tokyo station about three times per hour, with more trains during the evening. The ride costs ¥4800 and lasts just 50-55 minutes.

Direct runs on the regular Tohoku Main Line depart from Ueno station 3-4 times per hour. The trip takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes at a cost of ¥1890.

There are also hourly departures on the Shonan-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku station, reaching Utsunomiya in roughly the same time it takes from Ueno, and at the same price.

JR Nikko Line trains, appropriately bound for Nikko, depart from Utsunomiya.

Tobu line trains run to Tobu-Utsunomiya station from Tochigi every 30 minutes or so. From Asakusa, you can reach Utsunomiya by Tobu rapid train, changing in Shin-Tochigi. This train is typically longer (2 hours) and less convenient than it's JR counterpart, but about 500 yen cheaper for one-way fare (1160 yen).

With the exception of the Tobu line, all of these trains can be used at no charge with the Japan Rail Pass.

By bus

Kintetsu operates the Tochinoki overnight highway bus service from Osaka and Kyoto to Utsunomiya Station. It takes 10 hours from Osaka and 8 1/2 hours from Kyoto and costs ¥11000 and ¥10400 one way, respectively. This service has been spotty with suspensions; it is usually cheaper and more reliable to take a train to Tokyo Station or Shinjuku station, then to ride a bus to your destination from there.

Mito, the capital of neighboring Ibaraki, has highway bus service connecting with Utsunomiya, with departures hourly in either direction.

Get in

By plane

From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way to reach Utsunomiya is to take the Narita Express train to Tokyo Station and transfer to the Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko, Nasuno or Tsubasa service (2 1/4 hours, ¥7800).

From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line train to Shinagawa, then the Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku line train to Tokyo Station. From there, take the Tohoku Shinkansen (about 1 3/4 hours, ¥5200). A cheaper trip is to continue up the Yamanote to Ueno station and change to the JR Utsunomiya commuter line (3 hours, ¥2290).

Separate Airport Limousine bus services - each called the Marronnier - run between JR Utsunomiya Station and both Narita Airport (2 3/4 hours, ¥4070) and Haneda Airport (2 3/4 hours, ¥3500).

By train

Utsunomiya is a major train hub served by the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, JR Tohoku Main Line, Tobu Nikko Line and JR Utsunomiya Line.

Tohoku Shinkansen Yamabiko, Max Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tsubasa trains depart from Tokyo station about three times per hour, with more trains during the evening. The ride costs ¥4800 and lasts just 50-55 minutes.

Direct runs on the regular Tohoku Main Line depart from Ueno station 3-4 times per hour. The trip takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes at a cost of ¥1890.

There are also hourly departures on the Shonan-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku station, reaching Utsunomiya in roughly the same time it takes from Ueno, and at the same price.

JR Nikko Line trains, appropriately bound for Nikko, depart from Utsunomiya.

Tobu line trains run to Tobu-Utsunomiya station from Tochigi every 30 minutes or so. From Asakusa, you can reach Utsunomiya by Tobu rapid train, changing in Shin-Tochigi. This train is typically longer (2 hours) and less convenient than it's JR counterpart, but about 500 yen cheaper for one-way fare (1160 yen).

With the exception of the Tobu line, all of these trains can be used at no charge with the Japan Rail Pass.

By bus

Kintetsu operates the Tochinoki overnight highway bus service from Osaka and Kyoto to Utsunomiya Station. It takes 10 hours from Osaka and 8 1/2 hours from Kyoto and costs ¥11000 and ¥10400 one way, respectively. This service has been spotty with suspensions; it is usually cheaper and more reliable to take a train to Tokyo Station or Shinjuku station, then to ride a bus to your destination from there.

Mito, the capital of neighboring Ibaraki, has highway bus service connecting with Utsunomiya, with departures hourly in either direction.

See

Futarasan Shrine

This is probably the most popular shrine in Utsunomiya. The front is lined by a massive stairway several stories in height before ending at a large temple. Excellent for pictures and very convenient. > From JR Utsunomiya, get on Kanto bus bound for Sakushin Gakuin, get off Bara-cho : illumination : sunset to 22:00. 10 minute walk from Utsunomiya JR (West Exit), across from Pargo.> 1-1-1 Baba-dori Utsunomiya : (phone) 028-622-5271

Hachimanyama Park

About 1km northwest of JR station and a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing (hanami). Futa-ara-san (二荒山 "Two Storm Mountain") is Utsunomiya's main shrine, located on a small hill in the city center, about 600m west of JR station.

Utsunomiya Castle (Utsunomiya-Jo)

The castle is Utsunomiya's claim to Japanese Royalty, where the emperor or other royal members would rest and/or change horses before their last leg to Nikko. The castle is reconstructed from previous excavations and is an excellent place to picnic, but little else. Historical significance and exhibits are limited. Located within two blocks of Utsunomiya City Hall. Can be reached by walking, but first-time visitors may prefer to take a taxi.

Matsugamine Church

The church, built in 1932, is full-dress Romanesque cathedral. Almost all the building is composed of Ohya Stone including exterior and interior walls. > From JR Utsunomiya, get on the Kanto Bus bound for Sakushin Gakuin (8 min), get off at Tobu Utsunomiya Station, walk 3 min.> 1-1-5 Matugamine, Utsunomiya : (phone) 028-635-0405'

See

Futarasan Shrine

This is probably the most popular shrine in Utsunomiya. The front is lined by a massive stairway several stories in height before ending at a large temple. Excellent for pictures and very convenient. > From JR Utsunomiya, get on Kanto bus bound for Sakushin Gakuin, get off Bara-cho : illumination : sunset to 22:00. 10 minute walk from Utsunomiya JR (West Exit), across from Pargo.> 1-1-1 Baba-dori Utsunomiya : (phone) 028-622-5271

Hachimanyama Park

About 1km northwest of JR station and a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing (hanami). Futa-ara-san (二荒山 "Two Storm Mountain") is Utsunomiya's main shrine, located on a small hill in the city center, about 600m west of JR station.

Utsunomiya Castle (Utsunomiya-Jo)

The castle is Utsunomiya's claim to Japanese Royalty, where the emperor or other royal members would rest and/or change horses before their last leg to Nikko. The castle is reconstructed from previous excavations and is an excellent place to picnic, but little else. Historical significance and exhibits are limited. Located within two blocks of Utsunomiya City Hall. Can be reached by walking, but first-time visitors may prefer to take a taxi.

Matsugamine Church

The church, built in 1932, is full-dress Romanesque cathedral. Almost all the building is composed of Ohya Stone including exterior and interior walls. > From JR Utsunomiya, get on the Kanto Bus bound for Sakushin Gakuin (8 min), get off at Tobu Utsunomiya Station, walk 3 min.> 1-1-5 Matugamine, Utsunomiya : (phone) 028-635-0405'

Sleep

The Utsunomiya city page contains a very extensive list of hotels with links to websites (if available) here (]) . Hotels range from grand (wedding hotels) to business hotels (small rooms and beds).

  • Chisan Hotel (From the west exit of Utsunomiya Station, the hotel is directly across the street to the left). Chisan is an extremely large, extremely affordable hotel group in Japan, with hotels spanning across the country. Rooms are small, but affordable and clean.
  • Hotel Sunshine (From the east exit of Utsunomiya Station, cross the bridge while bearing right on the fork in the bridge. After going down the stairs, turn right and go one block.). This hotel is located on the east side of Utsunomiya Station, connected by a large pedestrian bridge. It is easy to reach by foot and the rates are reasonable, be it for smaller rooms. Most rates include a breakfast buffet.

Sleep

The Utsunomiya city page contains a very extensive list of hotels with links to websites (if available) here (]) . Hotels range from grand (wedding hotels) to business hotels (small rooms and beds).

  • Chisan Hotel (From the west exit of Utsunomiya Station, the hotel is directly across the street to the left). Chisan is an extremely large, extremely affordable hotel group in Japan, with hotels spanning across the country. Rooms are small, but affordable and clean.
  • Hotel Sunshine (From the east exit of Utsunomiya Station, cross the bridge while bearing right on the fork in the bridge. After going down the stairs, turn right and go one block.). This hotel is located on the east side of Utsunomiya Station, connected by a large pedestrian bridge. It is easy to reach by foot and the rates are reasonable, be it for smaller rooms. Most rates include a breakfast buffet.

Go next

  • Nikko, the grandiose burial site of the Tokugawa Shoguns
  • Mashiko, a town of pottery and steam trains
  • Mito, capital of Ibaraki and home of Kairaku-en Park.
  • Oya, a small town with a giant stone Kannon and underground quarry that provided much of the greenish stone that distinguishes Utsunomiya's architecture



Go next

  • Nikko, the grandiose burial site of the Tokugawa Shoguns
  • Mashiko, a town of pottery and steam trains
  • Mito, capital of Ibaraki and home of Kairaku-en Park.
  • Oya, a small town with a giant stone Kannon and underground quarry that provided much of the greenish stone that distinguishes Utsunomiya's architecture



Curated Travel Blogs

Utsunomiya Travel Guide | Travyde

  • Say you want to see Utsunomiya, or like me, you live in Utsunomiya and you like to visit places that don’t cost much
  • Well, Utsunomiya’s relatively new architectural wonder, Ken-cho (the Prefectural Office Building) is worth a visit, especially on a clear day
  • While the elevator ride is not as much fun as at nearby Utsunomiya Tower, the view from the top is comparable and the facilities much better
Utsunomiya Travel Guide | Travyde

  • A rocket decorates the front lawn, one of hundreds of interesting things to be found on the grounds of Tochigi Science Museum
  • I have visited Tochigi Musuem at least half a dozen times without actually entering the museum
  • My son has so many science-related questions, and I was hoping a visit to the museum could help me answer him
Utsunomiya Travel Guide | Travyde

  • I like instant noodles as much as the next person, but I am not a fan of the real deal, ramen
  • The noodles fill me up too quickly, and the typically oily, rich, salty broth doesn’t go down well
  • All that said, I like ramen once in a while, especially in the winter when I have a cold, and especially Kazan's ramen
Utsunomiya Travel Guide | Travyde

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Curated Video Guides

Travel In Japan | Oya, Utsunomiya: Stone Town & Quarry Ruins Tour
Travel In Japan | Oya, Utsunomiya: Stone Town & Quarry Ruins Tour
Travel In Japan | Oya, Utsunomiya: Stone Town & Quarry Ruins Tour - - - - - - - - - - - - - - On this episode of Journeys in Japan, we travel to Oya, an old stone town in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi...

Trip to Japan 2010 [27] Travel to Saitama on Utsunomiya Line train
Trip to Japan 2010 [27] Travel to Saitama on Utsunomiya Line train

Japan Travel Guide: Shinkansen Bullet Train - Osaka to Tokyo (4K)
Japan Travel Guide: Shinkansen Bullet Train - Osaka to Tokyo (4K)
You can easily see a lot of Japan if you plan on using the Bullet Train to travel around. I take the Shinkansen Bullet Train from Osaka to Tokyo in a reserved Green Car seat. The Bullet Train...

Your Home in Japan - For an Authentic Travel Experience
Your Home in Japan - For an Authentic Travel Experience
Discover the best of our 60 houses for rent in 6 cities of Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama, Fukuoka and Hiroshima. Complete list and reservation on: https://www.japan-experience.com/rent-a...

Traveling Historic Japan Utsunomiya, Nikko - TMOW
Traveling Historic Japan Utsunomiya, Nikko - TMOW
My good friend from childhood Aaron lives in the northern japanese countryside and has a car so we were able to drive to some historical spots of great significance. Here is a compilation of...

Journeys in Japan:Oya, Utsunomiya: Stone Town & Quarry Ruins Tour
Journeys in Japan:Oya, Utsunomiya: Stone Town & Quarry Ruins Tour
The full episode is available on our website; https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/vod/journeys/ We also offer “NHK WORLD TV” free app for Android and iOS devices. For more information of...

5 Must See Japanese Animal Hotspots
5 Must See Japanese Animal Hotspots
Japan has many amazing and unique animal hotspots spread across islands, mountains and even city streets. Each place is its own mini adventure and it's time we went and checked them out. (English...

NIKKO, a great day trip from Tokyo - Japan Vlog #27
NIKKO, a great day trip from Tokyo - Japan Vlog #27
Hi! Today we head to Nikko to enjoy the wilderness and hopefully find a roller slide! If you enjoyed today's adventure please like this video to let us know and subscribe so you can keep updated...

Japan's Best Gyoza | Famous Dumpling Tour At Utsunomiya Station
Japan's Best Gyoza | Famous Dumpling Tour At Utsunomiya Station
Utsunomiya station in Tochigi prefecture is famous for it's amazing gyoza. I met up with the awesome pair Maaike and Takeru to try them out. Dumplings never tasted so good and it was great...

Exploring Tochigi with Kim Dao and Internationallyme
Exploring Tochigi with Kim Dao and Internationallyme
Check out the Odigo Japan Website for all Japan related information! https://goo.gl/1i3cSO Information on places seen in this video: Nikko Shrines and Temples: https://www.odigo.travel/spots/53e...

Japan Trip (Part 3) - Nikko and Sushi!
Japan Trip (Part 3) - Nikko and Sushi!
Waking later than we wanted for our third day of our Japan Trip, we headed to Nikko and saw as much as we could. Many shrines were under construction and the weather a bit cold but we had...

One Japan #48 Lining up for Dumplings in Utsunomiya (Tochigi) 日本全国!宇都宮の餃子
One Japan #48 Lining up for Dumplings in Utsunomiya (Tochigi) 日本全国!宇都宮の餃子
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Japan Vlog: Shopping in JAPAN |  Exploring Nikko - Tochigi | KimDao in JAPAN
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Exploring Tochigi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVG1xeupIXU In today's vlog we made a day trip to Nikko in the Tochigi prefecture! We then went to Utsunomiya and then shopped around! My...

UTSUNOMIYA: GYOZA DUMPLING CITY
UTSUNOMIYA: GYOZA DUMPLING CITY
My Japan Laifu #6: I head out with my family to Utsunomiya in the Tochigi Prefecture; home to some of Japan's best gyoza dumplings. // MUSIC // Kailo: https://soundcloud.com/kailomusic bo-en:...

Edo Wonderland | Ninja Village | Utsunomiya | Japan Trip 2015 | Part 8
Edo Wonderland | Ninja Village | Utsunomiya | Japan Trip 2015 | Part 8
Let's go back and visit the Edo Period where there are noble samurai with topknots, ninja lurking on roof tops, beautifully adorned geisha, and cute village girls dressed in kimono. ↬ VIDEOS...

Gyoza in Utsunomiya -- The best potstickers in Japan!
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JR Utsunomiya Station (JR 宇都宮駅), Utsunomiya city, Japan
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Nikko - A Day Trip from Tokyo
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Travel details for your day trip pleasure: To get to Nikko you need to take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno train station to Utsunomiya Station. From here transfer to a JR Nikko...

Restaurant Uses Monkey Waitress
Restaurant Uses Monkey Waitress
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Places, Sights, and Attractions

View Map
やきそば安藤
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Tsutomu Sugita
注文から焼きそばの到着までにお金を用意して待っていましょう
Distance: 1.78 km
カレーハウス ミニ・ボルツ
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昔懐かしい感じの店構え、刺激が強いわけでもないけど美味しいカレー料理、80〜90年代のちょっと懐かしい洋楽が流れてたのも嬉しかった。
Distance: 1.87 km
くら寿司 宇都宮鶴田店
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普通の100円回転寿司。ただ、カレーや鰻丼などに力をいれている。混雑が激しいのがたまにキズだが、ネット予約が可能なのがいいところ。
Distance: 1.44 km
ひゆひゆ hyu
栃木県宇都宮市曲師町2-8 宇都宮フェスタB1
Distance: 1.97 km
宇都宮天然温泉 ゆらら
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Tsutomu Sugita
Welcome to the Travyde travel guide to Utsunomiya! Find out what to see, do, explore, buy, eat, and sleep in Utsunomiya, as well as suggested itineraries, feedback from other traveller's, travel blog entries, video guides, relevant social media content and much more. Utsunomiya (宇都宮) is the capital of Tochigi prefecture, Japan.Understand Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture. Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cockta
Distance: 1.64 km
栃木県中央公園
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utsunomiya park
Distance: 0.73 km
中華園
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Akihiro Shinohara
美味しいです。好みです
Distance: 1.92 km
宇都宮城址公園
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北野 勝久
花見にオススメです:D
Distance: 1.71 km
Dorothy Wong
Welcome to the Travyde travel guide to Utsunomiya! Find out what to see, do, explore, buy, eat, and sleep in Utsunomiya, as well as suggested itineraries, feedback from other traveller's, travel blog entries, video guides, relevant social media content and much more. Utsunomiya (宇都宮) is the capital of Tochigi prefecture, Japan.Understand Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture. Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cockta
Distance: 1.71 km
Puju Ryu
Really good! Pumpkin ♡
Distance: 1.51 km
宇都宮市文化会館
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Yusuke Tachibana
宇都宮でのライブの大半が行われています。
Distance: 0.33 km
スーパー銭湯 コール 宇都宮の湯
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Distance: 1.9 km
けんけん みちのく卒業カウントダウン⌛️
宇都宮最強の餃子 いつも並んでる
Distance: 0.65 km
横浜家系ラーメン 元町家
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Takashi Akimoto
煮卵がすごくおいしい。絶対にトッピングすべし。九条ネギもオススメです。
Distance: 1.86 km
やまや 鶴田店
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エッティンガーという、白ビール。国産のビールと値段は同じくらい
Distance: 0.79 km
俊麺謹製 濃厚豚骨 NOTON
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Ujin Nakatomi
今は長浜ラーメンが金曜日の夜限定のメニューでありますが、息子が毎週行こうと言ってきかない!もちろん私自身も大好きで、つい金曜日の夜はソワソワしてしまいます(>_<)
Distance: 1.43 km
良くも悪くも雑多なお店。東南アジアのスーパーの雰囲気を味わうことができます。個人的には殺伐としていて好きです。
Distance: 1.33 km
Yoshiyuki T
The gyoza is delicious especially with the hot chilli sauce that goes with it. Highly recommend the fried and boiled gyoza set (rice included). Service is fast and the atmosphere is very friendly.
Distance: 1.94 km
ステーキ宮 鶴田店
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ソフトバンクとauのwifiが使えます~
Distance: 0.82 km
Welcome to the Travyde travel guide to Utsunomiya! Find out what to see, do, explore, buy, eat, and sleep in Utsunomiya, as well as suggested itineraries, feedback from other traveller's, travel blog entries, video guides, relevant social media content and much more. Utsunomiya (宇都宮) is the capital of Tochigi prefecture, Japan.Understand Utsunomiya has more streets lined with horse chestnut trees (栃の木 tochi-no-ki), and more places and products labeled Marronnier (French for Aesculus hippocastanum) than any other city in Japan's Tochigi ("Buckeye") Prefecture. Utsunomiya is also the hometown of jazz great Sadao Watanabe and bills itself as a Jazz Town that is also famous for its cockta
Distance: 0.39 km
https://www.facebook.com/bluemagic.brew
Distance: 1.87 km
北関東 NEO
5階催事場での企画が良い
Distance: 1.67 km
餃子の店 香蘭
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水餃子、揚餃子、焼餃子、ライスを注文。餃子はそれぞれ6個入りで¥200。ライスは¥100。生の餃子の旨味というか、できたての餃子を目の前で調理しているので皮がまずうまい。餡はキャベツの旨味と肉の甘みが静かにマッチしてて、優しい味。揚餃子を塩につけて食べるのも美味しかったが、焼餃子をシンプルに酢醤油とラー油で食べるのが最も美味しかった。パリッと食べて肉汁が出てくるのが最高!
Distance: 1.98 km
俊麺なが田
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カケラーと専用トッピング頂きました。
Distance: 1.43 km
鶏そば HIBARI
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けんけん みちのく卒業カウントダウン⌛️
つけ麺はまあまあ、鶏そばがとてもよい
Distance: 1.9 km

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