We'll begin with Nikko, a wonderland of things to do and see in Tochigi. Play that round of morning golf, then take a trip to Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura. It's a culture and amusement park that gives you a rare glimpse into the Edo era of old Japan. Enjoy workshops, games, and the theatrics of samurai, geisha, ninja and more.
Another can't miss attraction is Tobu World Square, with it's one hundred + 1:25 scale models of the most famous, UNESCO-designated World Cultural and Heritage Sites. This outdoor museum includes 140,000 miniature people. It's a small world after all!
So, you've enjoyed games, tiny Heritage sites and miniature people…who's ready for a jaunt to an actual Heritage site? Explore the Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, including 5 structures at the shrine that are considered National Treasures of Japan. This is a great way to learn more about Japan's history, local religion, and culture.
High up in the mountains above Nikko, the Kegon Falls at Lake Chuzenji are a very popular tourist destination, and for good reason. The main fall is about 318 feet high (about 97 meters), and you can also see about twelve smaller waterfalls in the area. Japan's Ministry of the Environment lists Kegon as one of Japan's 3 most beautiful falls. The Falls offer breathtaking scenery at any time of year, with particularly spectacular autumn views. One you're in Nikko, a tour bus will get you to the Falls in about an hour.
If you travel to Tochigi in the Spring or Fall, and you're interested in Japanese ceramics, you're in for a treat. At a quick 45 minutes by train from Tokyo Station, the town of Mashiko has held a Pottery Fair since 1966. Visitors come from across Japan and around the world to travel to this pottery center and enjoy the 380 different styles of pottery being produced. You'll see ancient designs, as well as modern options. You can even try your hand at making pottery yourself! Check out the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art for more information.
Photo: Nikko Tosho-Gu By Kanegan https://flic.kr/p/4MVHBa