3 Unusual Tochigi Attractions

by Luke - TripleLights travel specialist

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

 

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


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

“ Hospitality was amazing! ”

Excellent
16 hours ago Traveler: Gayle -   Tour Guide: Chiaki

Chiaki made our Tokyo experience the best! She was very accommodating to our interests and making the most out of our time. We had a great day with her! Thank you Chiaki, we had so much fun spending time with you!
read more

“ Overall very satisfactory ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Daniel -   Tour Guide: EFG CARS Service

Booked a van for 7 people from hotel in downtown Tokyo to Narita. The booking process was confusing in that the website does not clearly identify the booking. The buttons for selecting from Narita and to Narita didn't work so the initial order recited a Narita pickup rather than from hotel. Email response time was timely and the matter was clarified satisfactorily. Apart from booking, the serv...
read more

“ Great tour of Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Vimal -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

We had a good time in Tokyo with Toshi. He met us at our hotel in Shinjuku right on time. He got us the day pass for subway and off we went. He has good command of English and was able to explain Japanese culture and history to us in detail. We travelled mostly by sub-ways and he selected main sights in Tokyo like Imperial Palace, the fish market, Sensoji Temple and Asukasa park etc. It was a ver...
read more

“ Cancelled tour? typhoon! ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Sue -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

He cancelled tour due to typhoon. Promised full refund. Waiting to hear from you. I’ve also emailed. Cannot pay for no tour!
read more

“ The best tour guide ever! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Shauna -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

Yasuro is simply the best tour guide we’ve ever had. We were in Tokyo for a very short time and wanted to book a guide. Yasuro responded to my message right away and was so polite and pleasant. He helped me plan the itinerary and also respected what we wanted to see. He kept us updated about everything (including the scary typhoon!) and made everything so easy for us. We had such an amazing time t...
read more

“ Great guide, knowledgeable and fun! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Lesley -   Tour Guide: Arnold

Arnold was very professional corresponding with me several times to organise our time together and was prompt at arriving at our hotel. He provided several suggestions about places to visit and and was knowledgeable about the tourist spots we wanted to visit. He went above and beyond in helping to find a suitable pub to watch the rugby on a VERY busy Saturday afternoon too! He was instrumental ...
read more

“ Walking tour ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Simon -   Tour Guide: Nobuko

We had a fantastic tour with Nobu. From the very start of the booking Nobu was extremely responsive via messages, giving a great option for our itinerary. We were a group of four siblings and highlights were fish market and Meiji shrine. In addition, Nobu was extremely helpful navigating us around the metro line which we could then use for other days of our stay. The best part of the day w...
read more

“ Typhoon couldn’t stop him. ”

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

In spite of a typhoon the day before, he was always in contact with up dates on the possibility of doing the tour. When the storm was over and as soon a public transport was again running he not only showed at the assigned meeting point (our hotel), but he got there early. He gave us a great tour. A lot of walking with all the sites we had wanted to see. Would without reservation recommend to ...
read more

“ 1 day tour ”

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

Had a great day with Dai. We had a full 8 hour day and saw so much with him. We would have never been able to see as much as we did without him. Very knowledgeable about Japanese history. He even helped us with our JR passes and figuring out what trains we should be using for the remainder of our trip. Would highly recommend.
read more

“ 2 days, 23 miles, Top Tokyo Sites with Tom ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Grant -   Tour Guide: Tsutomu

We spent two days exploring the many sites that Tokyo has to offer with Tom. We covered 23 miles over these days, utilized public transportation, and experienced things of historical, religious, and cultural importance to the city of Tokyo during this time. From the Shibuya Crossing to the Meiji Shrine, Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Ginza, The Imperial Palace, and so much more, we greatly enjoyed our to...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

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