Get on the Tobu Railway at Asakusa in the Shitamachi area of Tokyo and you are around 70 minutes away from Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture. Also known as Little Edo, the city has preserved its old Japanese townscape and culture shaped by maritime transport. Explore the town with Japanese sweets in hand and experience a relaxing time while enjoying Japanese history and culture. We present to you Tochigi City, where you can become like a time traveller from the present to the Edo period.
The Beginnings of the “Storehouse Town”: The Nikko Reiheishi Road and Uzuma River Transport
The existence of “storehouses” implies that there were goods and funds to store. Tochigi developed to be a “storehouse town” because it was one of the most prominent commercial centers in Kanto. Let’s unravel its history!
The casket of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun, was reburied on Mt. Nikko in 1617. After that, the imperial envoys started to visit the Nikko Toshogu Shirine every year, where Ieyasu is enshrined. As the imperial envoys travelling there were called Reiheishi, the road they took was called Nikko Reiheishi Road. Tochigi became a post town on this thoroughfare, gathering people and goods. This is said to have sparked the town’s development as a commercial center.
Further impetus to this development is said to have been the Edo trade via maritime transport on the Uzuma River. Goods and salt for official use in Nikko was shipped from Edo and lumber and agricultural produce was shipped from Tochigi. It is said that maritime transport was used since early Edo, trade gradually came to flourish, and the Tochigi merchants were at their peak by the end of the Edo period. Those wealthy merchants then built earthen-wall storehouses along the Uzuma River and the main street.
Tochigi’s storehouse townscape was built by the history of those wealthy merchants who achieved such prosperity.
The One-Day Citizen Passport gives you discounts and other services at sightseeing spots.
Let’s enjoy good-value sightseeing in Tochigi with the One-Day Citizen Passport!
・One-Day Citizen Passport: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/english/img/one-day-pass.pdf
・Tochigi City Tourist Association: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/english/
・Tochigi City introduction video: http://www.kuranomachi.jp/english/movie
A style of building shops from the Edo period. The building is used not as a warehouse but as a shop.They operate as actual shops and can be found in various locations.Enjoy their traditional charm.
[Tochigi Station Tourist Information Center]Get your One-Day Citizen Passport at the Tourist Information Center to the right after exiting the ticket barrier and start exploring!!
[Yokoyama Local Culture Hall]
Free if you have the One-Day Citizen Passport. Panoramic photo of the building. Hemp storage to the right and the bank’s book storage to the left.
So many perks with the One-Day Citizen Passport!
Kuranomachi Pleasure Boat Ride: The Boatman Guides You to the Edo Period
The Kuranomachi Promenade runs along the banks of the Uzuma River, where carps and duck swim and the willows give shade. The earthen-wall storehouses and black walls give off a unique atmosphere as they conceal the histories of a post town, a merchant’s town, and a Meiji enlightenment town.
Get in a pleasure boat to conjure up the vision of Edo-period merchants and your mood is bound to jump to that of an Edo topknot merchant. Follow the boatman’s call, “haayoisakorasho”!!
The Uzuma Carp Streamer Festival is held every year from April to May, filling the sky with 1,151 carp streamers for maximum
impact! You get a discount on boat rides with the One-Day Citizen Passport!!
・Kuranomachi Pleasure Boat Ride: http://www.k-yuransen.com/
An easy way to enjoy Uzuma River that was the flourishing transport route! Maximum impact when the carp streamers are up!!
Take a photo wearing a traditional braided hat and coat!
Japanese Sweets: Stroll around Town with Japanese Confections in Hand
When you’re tired of walking… That’s right! Sweets! Downtown Tochigi is full of well-known shops. You can easily have your fill of dorayaki, which is two patties of pancake dough holding sweet adzuki bean paste, high-grade confections, an-doughnuts, and much more. Let’s stroll around town and discover the famous shops!
Close to where you get on the pleasure boats on the Uzuma River you’ll find Kikuya, a confectionary, famous for its dorayaki and
an-doughnuts. All items are “morning confectionery” made early in the morning. If you are lucky you will come upon the scene of dorayaki
patties being baked at the shopfront. The an-doughnuts always sell out and have a refreshing mouthfeel despite being deep-fried! The
strained red bean paste inside is smooth as well! By all means, do try it out…!
・Okashidokoro Kikuya: https://www2.hp-ez.com/hp/dorayaki83/
Tasty an-doughnuts and other confections
Shopkeeper baking dorayaki