Utsunomiya is an area located in the southeastern part of Tochigi Prefecture. This area includes Utsunomiya City, Omokashi City, Mashiko-machi, and Motegi-machi. Tochigi Prefecture’s prefectural office is located in Utsunomiya, and as such it is known as the heart of Tochigi Prefecture.
For sightseeing, two popular spots are Oya-ji Temple, which has its main hall inside of a cave, and Mashiko-yaki Pottery Tsukamoto where Mashiko-machi’s traditional craft of Mashiko-yaki is sold. Every year in Spring and Fall the “Mashiko Pottery Market” is held, where the families of Mashiko-machi gather to sell their wares. They sell not only pottery, but also local specialties and farm products. During the pottery market period, the nearby stations Mashiko Station and Utsunomiya Station etc. operate special buses for visitors to use.
However, the most convenient method of travel in the area is by car. You can access the area’s central Utsunomiya Station by Shinkansen from various major cities in Japan. From Tokyo you can use the Tohoku Shinkansen to reach Utsunomiya Station in just 50 minutes.