4 Tochigi Day Trip Ideas

by Luke - TripleLights travel specialist

Looking for something interesting during your stay in Tochigi? Why not enjoy the international circuit for the MotoGP, enjoy a soak in an onsen that has been operating since the 7th century, check out the origin of a Japanese folklore goblin, before finally meeting some South American animals. Sounds like a crazy day, but all of this can be found right here in Tochigi:

Twin Ring Motegi

4 Tochigi Day Trip Ideas

(image by ツインリンクもてぎ)

Beginning with the world’s biggest bike race, the MotoGP World Championships, this is an international circuit which has held many national races. Once you observe the sound of cars and excited cheering, you will really get into the swing of things. The Circuit Cruise is also popular for trying out the road course in your favorite cars. At Honda Collection Hall where you can see the cars up close, there are approximately 300 two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles and racing machines that have been restored on display. It is truly an interesting area which includes Pit Studio where you can build and operate your own electric-powered vehicles, and a display of the bipedal ASIMO robot developed by Honda. For fun with the family, head for Mobi Park. If your kids are over 135cm (4’5”) in height, they can try out the Dream Cart, an entry-level machine that even beginners can handle, or the Drift-S in which they can safely and easily enjoy drifting with that feeling of speed and spectacle. Driving on a genuine course is only possible on this track. There are also many vehicles that can be driven by people from 3 years of age so that everyone can get that enjoyment of driving.   

This large forest of 42ha is divided into 4 areas where 12 interactive facilities are located for enjoying the forest or observing the flora and fauna. Among these, a popular example is the Zipline. It’s an activity where you zip through the forest with the help of a pulley and wire. There are 2 courses: Japan’s longest Mega Zipline Tsubasa which has a round-trip distance of 561m and Forest Zipline Musasabi which includes a guided tour, both of which will give you lots of opportunity to experience the forest.

Admission: ¥ 1,000 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Twin Ring Motegi
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Twin Ring Motegi
Tours of Twin Ring Motegi

Shika-no-Yu (Deer Baths)

4 Tochigi Day Trip Ideas

(image by 鹿の湯)

Located just below the famous Nasu landmark of Sesshoseki (Killing Stone), Shika-no-Yu is a communal bath without any accommodations. First opening in the first half of the 7th century, it has a 1300-year history. It has been recorded in the ancient chronicles that it had been visited by nobility in the Nara Era, and even in the Edo Era, it gained popularity as feudal lords from everywhere in the country came to the hot spring. It is known as a touji which refers to a bath used for medicinal effects and so its waters have been used to cure illness and injury. Long ago, it was said that an injured deer went into the waters and recovered which gave the onsen its name.

Since it has long had the feeling of a spa, the onsen is not a place to wash yourself so soap and shampoo cannot be used. It is simply an onsen to calm body and mind. The wooden-floored facility is divided into 6 baths for men and 5 baths for women, and each bath has its own different temperature. The kaburi-yu method is recommended as an effective bathing method. It’s a method that is quite rare in Japan but it involves ladling water over your head…200 times for adults, 100 times for children. It is ideal for ailments such as hot flashes, headaches and stiff shoulders. You can select baths from a range of temperatures from 41 to 48 degrees C (for women, the upper limit is 46 degrees). Repeat the process of soaking for 3 minutes and rest, so over a day, you can get into the bath 4 times for a total time of 15 minutes. Shika-no-Yu is also effective for overall recovery from exhaustion and promotion of health. Each of the 7 hot springs of Nasu have their own different types of water and functions so you can enjoy touring the various onsen. But since the bathrooms are not all that big, you will want to visit during the relatively quiet times such as on weekday mornings to take that leisurely soak.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 400 / Child: ¥ 300 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Shika-no-Yu
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Shika-no-Yu
Tours of Shika-no-Yu

Furumine Shrine

4 Tochigi Day Trip Ideas

(image by flickr.com)

Next to Nikko, the huge 500ha Furumine Shrine in Furuminegahara of Kanuma City is dedicated to the hero of Japanese mythology Yamatotakeru whose messengers in the form of long-nosed goblins known as tengu have been greatly worshiped. The tengu possess strange powers and are worshiped on the same level as gods. In the large room of the front shrine (haiden), there are 2 tengu masks with a length of 1.5m. Created from hollowing out a giant tree, they were offered over 400 years ago, and have a fierce enough countenance so that children are afraid to approach them. There are over 200 tengu masks in the shaden to make the place seem like an inn for tengu. Also, the letter bearing the vermilion seal of the shogun at the same shrine is wonderful. It is a unique letter whose tengu drawing was actually created by Shinto priests, and on an average day, up to 200 people come and visit. With more than 10 kinds of dynamic letters on the two facing pages, these are especially popular with the enthusiasts.

There are also accommodations at the shrine. Since there is a guesthouse at the shrine, the food is not vegetarian and even alcohol can be imbibed. There are a variety of rooms ranging from a large space to private rooms, and there is a cleanliness that spreads to every corner. Within the solemn atmosphere of the morning prayers at 7 a.m., events such as gagaku music performances and exorcisms are held. The Furumine-en Garden within the shrine has an area of 82500㎡ which is the largest one in Japan for Japanese gardens built since the Showa Era. Many people who have an interest in gardens visit Furumine-en which was created to enliven the wide natural topography, drawing in the waters of the Oashikawa River.

You will want to drop by the Jinzen Tomoe-no-Shuku which is 10 minutes away from Furumine Shrine by car and has been designated as a Prefectural Important Cultural Property. The training ground of Shodo Shonin who had opened Nikko, the quietly standing shrine and the sacred tree provide a mysterious atmosphere beyond the torii gate.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Furumine Shrine
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Furumine Shrine
Tours of Furumine Shrine

Nasu Alpaca Farm

4 Tochigi Day Trip Ideas

(image by 那須アルパカ牧場)

The homeland of the alpaca is the 3000m highlands of the Andes Mountains in South America. With the Nasu Highlands sharing the same climate close to Tokyo, Japan’s first alpaca breeding farm was started there in 1999. The 200 original alpacas which came over from Chile have now grown to 400. The Peru Alpaca & Llama Breeders’ Organization (known as SPAR) has recognized the facility as “the farm raising the world’s friendliest alpacas”. Due to a 2008 Japanese commercial which used an alpaca, the animal became an overnight sensation. What is truly adorable is that it will come over to you if you call to it.

People who have seen alpacas have said in unison that they are healing because of their large watery eyes and the corners of their mouths that seem to curl up in a smile. With their eyes large enough to make easy eye contact with humans, fluffy fur and amiable personality, you end up smiling in spite of yourself. Shearing season is from the latter part of May to June. Since they have slender bodies in summer, you will have to visit at another time of year to witness their soft fur.

There are two areas where you can freely meet the alpacas. At the Petting Area, you can touch and feed them, and you can take a souvenir photo with Kurare-chan, the alpaca which became famous on that commercial (limited to weekends). The Strolling Area is popular for being able to walk with baby alpacas and taking souvenir photos. The leashes can only be held by junior high school students and above, but even little children can touch the alpacas. However, it should be warned that when the alpacas are scared or when they are scrambling for food, they have a tendency to spit.  

Admission: Adult: ¥ 800 / Child: ¥ 400 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Nasu Alpaca Farm
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Nasu Alpaca Farm
Tours of Nasu Alpaca Farm

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


Plan your trip to Tokyo

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

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ in depth tour of Zojo-ji ”

Excellent
2 months ago Traveler: Prasanna -   Tour Guide: Kazuharu

We were looking for an in-depth understanding of Zojo-ji, and it is not one of the popular spots in Tokyo. Kazuharu prepared and came with lots of notes and tried his best to answer all our questions. He was patient and enthusiastic.
read more

“ The best way to get around Tokyo ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Catarina -   Tour Guide: Mitsuru

Mitsuru was very careful when planning our visit, and made sure we got exactly the experience we wanted from Tokyo, with the right balance of tourist hotspots and local finds. His patience when explaining local habits and teaching us how to ride the tube were the reason we were able to get around the rest of the country, and his impecable guidance made it able for us to cover all of Tokyo in the l...
read more

“ Delightlful .... ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Jerome -   Tour Guide: Aki

Aki was very easy to work with and accomodating to our group of 6. As requested, he put together a 3 day itinerary for us based upon our interests and desired activity level. He is quite knowledgeable about "all things Tokyo" as well as the Japanese culture and history. He is a master of the Tokyo transit system and without him we would have had a difficult time navigating around. We asked Aki...
read more

“ KOJI--OUR WONDERFUL GUIDE! ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: JEFF -   Tour Guide: Koichiro

In the midst of the ongoing COVID drama sweeping the world, my partner and I decided to continue on with our trip to Japan. We were a bit nervous and wary but ended up having an incredible, once in a lifetime trip and a large part of this was our time with Koji. Koji has youth and energy, knowledge about Japanese culture, food and life, and was a wonderful host during our stay in Tokyo. We felt...
read more

“ Great guide ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Kerry -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

Though it rained most of the day we had a good look around Tokyo. Yasuro was a polite patient guide with great knowledge.
read more

“ March 7 2020 Tokyo ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Teresita -   Tour Guide: Noriko

Due to lack of time I decided to hire a Tokyo local guide to make use of our time,most especially for 7 hours. I did not regret to choose Noriko ,she was professional ,punctual ,very knowledgeable and she can feel the feelings of what we really wanted to see. We were so happy because we saw the places we wanted in 7 hours time. We recommend Noriko to all travellers who wanted to see in a short ...
read more

“ First day in Tokyo ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Nathan -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Nobu was wonderful. He accepted our last minute booking and met us at our hotel at 10am. A lot of things where closed, but Nobu had a great iteneriary for us. He spoke great english and did a great job of explaining the local culture and history.
read more

“ einen Tag in Tokio, einen Tag Teezermoniechmarkt. ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Maria -   Tour Guide: Yukiko

Es war wunderschön .Yukiko Hat uns mit ihren liebenswürdigen Art und viel Wissen über die Geschichte Tokios und besten Deutschkenntnissen, Tokio zu einer der Liebenswertesten Städte der Welt gemacht, man kann sie nur empfehlen und wir hatten wunderschöne Tage, sollten wir mal wiederkommen,Dann nur mit Yukiko.Liebe Grüße aus Rosenheim Marisa, Susanne und Tanja
read more

“ I had a wonderful time with Juliana. ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Arnold -   Tour Guide: Juliana

OMG, I had a fabulous day with Juliana. She was very informative and very professional while showing me around Tokyo. I've requested to Juliana to take me to the snoopy museum. Despite being closed because of the virus, she took me there anyway to visit the Peanut cafe and Snoopy town. That's when i learned she too was a Snoopy fan. Her command of the English language is very fluent. I have learn...
read more

“ 8 hour tour worth every penny! ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Chris -   Tour Guide: Maru

Maru was quick to respond to my request and assembled a nice customized itinerary for our day in Tokyo together. The shrine we visited was incredible! She has good local knowledge and is very personable and friendly. Maru's English is excellent and she was able to help me put together a few key phrases that I used during the rest of my stay in Japan. I would highly recommend her!
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

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