3 Unusual Tochigi Attractions

by Luke

Nasu Animal Kingdom, a zoo where you can feed the animals; Oya History Museum, an underground secret base now open to the public; and Tobu World Square, an amusement park that feautes 1/25 scale landmarks from around the world, are all here in Tochigi. So if you are looking for a day trip with a difference, then these three attractions are certain to entertain you on your trip to Japan:

Tobu World Square

3 Unusual Tochigi Attractions

(image by flickr.com)

Located next to Nikko Kinugawa Onsen. The models within Tobu World Square are 1/25 scale, but you will be surprised at how exceptionally big they actually are. For instance, there is the 634m Tokyo Sky Tree whose model measures 25.36m which is the equivalent of a 7-story building. Being able to see buildings from overhead, you will end up gazing at these structures in detail from various angles such as Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple which can’t actually be seen from the left.

There are 140,000 residents within the park that are only 7cm high. Intricately and individually created down to the last detail, there are even famous people scattered all around. “Roman Holiday” is being filmed at the Duomi di Milano, and the Buddhist monk Xuanzang can be found at the Great Wall of China. Also, you can come across Batman and Marilyn Monroe and other unique characters. One way to enjoy your time is walking through the square and searching for those famous folks among the buildings which could almost be forgotten for the real thing.

The opening times are extended annually between November and March, and about 1.4 million red and blue lights gorgeously illuminate the grounds. Beginning with Tokyo Sky Tree, buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and the Duomi di Milano and the surrounding area are wondrously lit up with LEDs and spotlights. The 100m leading up to Alpine Roses Park continues the wonder with a light tunnel. You can also enjoy the performance of a variety of lights for the fall foliage and the snowscapes of winter.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 2,500 / Child: ¥ 1,200 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Tobu World Square
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Tobu World Square
Tours of Tobu World Square

Oya History Museum

3 Unusual Tochigi Attractions

(image by flickr.com)

This area of amassed rock was called Oya Rock and was used to help in the building of the Imperial Hotel. The large-scale endeavor of continuous excavation that has gone on for decades has very few similar examples in the world. The underground excavation that is open to the public took a little under 70 years to complete, from 1919 to 1986 with the area going down 30 meters and covering a huge underground space of 20000㎡. During the war, it was used as an underground secret base and after the war, it was a storehouse. As you head down the long stairs of Oya Rock and reach the quarry, a spectacle will spread out in front of your eyes that is a wondrous space that cannot be imagined in Japan. Within the dim quarry, there is flickering light and red and blue illumination effectively placed everywhere which feels as if you’ve ended up in some movie. The walls have marks from pickaxes when they were used during the days of manual digging, so you can feel the gravity of history. The average temperature of the underground cavern is 8 degrees. A cool environment is maintained so the museum is great to visit during the heat of summer. Also, the space is used for a wide variety of events such as concerts, art exhibitions, performance stages and studios. Although it isn’t open very often, there is also a church provided so weddings can be held.

There is a bus which runs from Utsunomiya Station to the museum, but if you can spare the time, you will want to get off at Oya Hashi Bus Stop and take a walk around. There are many sights to see such as the 27m-high hand-carved Peace Kannon, the nationally-designated Important Cultural Property of the Thousand-Armed Kannon at Oya-ji Temple, and the especially beautiful rock walls along the river at Oya Keikan Park.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 700 / Child: ¥ 350 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Oya History Museum
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Oya History Museum
Tours of Oya History Museum

Nasu Animal Kingdom

3 Unusual Tochigi Attractions

(image by commons.wikimedia.org)

Just 2 hours away from Tokyo by car. There is a free shuttle bus service from Nasu-Shiobara Station if you are coming by train so you can still enjoy the zoo even on a day trip. The huge 43ha grounds are divided into the Kingdom Town and the Kingdom Farm. Kingdom Town is an indoor facility that centers on the many animals that you can encounter. At Capybara Forest, more than 20 capybaras run around freely which you can feed and interact with. At the Bamboo Forest Lesser House, where the cutest lesser pandas live, you can feed apples to the pandas. This is also a very popular place. Then, there is Kingdom Farm which spreads out through the grand nature of Nasu. The most popular part of the farm is the Bird Performance Show. The flight and hunting poses of birds of prey such as eagles and owls can be seen, among which is the spectacular and large Bald Eagle with a wingspan of 2 meters. Also, within this magnificent scenery, you can encounter alpacas, horses and sheep, and even experience horseback riding.

There is an onsen, Nasu Gohou-no-Yu, within the grounds which is just half-price for zoo visitors. In the winter, there is the adjacent ski resort, Mount Jeans Ski Resort Nasu with nap rooms so that you can enjoy skiing and the zoo over the day. In addition, in 2014, the Penguin Village was re-opened. It has Japan’s only display of puffins which have a cuteness to rival that of penguins. You can also feed the penguins and the eared seals. Since it is hard to cover the whole zoo in one day, check the time schedule beforehand and map out your tour efficiently.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 2,000 / Child: ¥ 1,000 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Nasu Animal Kingdom
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Nasu Animal Kingdom
Tours of Nasu Animal Kingdom

 


26 Sep 2015

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Tokyo Half Day Highlights ”

Excellent
15 hours ago Traveler: Caroline -   Tour Guide: Makiko

I enjoyed a wonderful morning with Makiko! She was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. She understood I wanted to see as much as possible in a short time and delivered.
read more

“ Wonderful time in Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Vivian -   Tour Guide: Mack

We had an amazing time with Mack. He is very friendly and approachable and was very flexible to attend our wishes. Highly recommended for sure.
read more

“ Lovely, patient, and skillful. ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Family -   Tour Guide: YUKIKO

Yukiko taught an origami lesson to three children, 8,10, and 12 years old. She was wonderful! She began with simple objects and moved to increasingly complicated creations as the kids caught on quickly through her patient and skillful instruction. She wore a kimono which they also loved, and really enjoyed their time with her. I'd highly recommend Yukiko to any family!
read more

“ TOTAL SATISFACTION!! Covered a variety of sights and experiences with our charming and fun guide ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Sonja -   Tour Guide: MAYUMI

Mayumi San is a lovely, fun person with great English and knowledge about Tokyo. My 17 year old son and I spent 2 fantastic days ( Mon and Wed) being taken about Tokyo by Mayumi. The first day was in typhoon weather but still thoroughly enjoyable, due to Mayumi’s delightful personality and the thrill of being in this awesome city. She changed the schedule to better suit the weather and we ended...
read more

“ Wonderful Day in Tokyo ! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Sharis -   Tour Guide: Yuki

I came to Japan as a solo female traveler and figured it would be a good investment to tour the Tokyo area with a local, and I do not regret doing it with Yuki one bit. I spent about half a day with him and we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market, Akihabara, Meji Shrine, Asakusa and the Senso-Ji Temple. He was extremely accommodating (met me at my hotel and traveled with me back) and knowledgeable on t...
read more

“ June 4, June 6-8,2018 services ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Edu -   Tour Guide: TR Taxi

The tours went okay and all drivers are good especially our driver on last tour, his name is Eddie. He is fluent in English. We easily understand each other and he is very knowledgeable with the place so we were able to see a lot of sights that we would like to visit. Thank you
read more

“ 1 Day in Tokyo and 1 Day in Hakone ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Isabel -   Tour Guide: Dai

Dai provided our group of 9 with 2 fun-filled days. Dai was very patient and accommodated the needs of everyone in our group. Without him, we would not have seen half the places we did! He made navigating the transportation systems of both Tokyo and Hakone a breeze. I wish we had more time in Japan. Next time we will go in early April like Dai suggested. We would definitely hire Dai again!!
read more

“ One Day in Tokyo. ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Alison -   Tour Guide: Dai

We had a group of four and we were only in Tokyo for the day. What we truly appreciated about Dat is that he was punctual and made sure we got the most experience out of our day. Dai took us on the subway and so getting from place to place was very convenient. In addition, when visiting temples he explained traditions and customs. He was very knowledgable and I would recommend his services to anyo...
read more

“ 1 day tour of Tokyo ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Jennifer -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

Akira was a fantastic guide, he took us around the highlights of Tokyo, recommended great places to eat and squeezed in an extra visit to a garden that was on route when we mentioned that we were garden enthusiasts. His knowledge gave us a great introduction to Japan. Thank you so much Akira
read more

“ Flexibility ”

Very Good
2 days ago Traveler: Joyce -   Tour Guide: Makiko

Makiko is very, very flexible which suited me perfectly.
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started