|Subdivisions||Districts: 5, Municipalities: 26|
|• Governor||Tomikazu Fukuda|
|• Total||6,408.09 km2 (2,474.18 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Density||300/km2 (790/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-09|
Tochigi Prefecture (栃木県, Tochigi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Tochigi Prefecture has a population of 1,943,886 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 6,408 km2 (2,474 sq mi). Tochigi Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the west, Saitama Prefecture to the south, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the southeast.
Utsunomiya is the capital and largest city of Tochigi Prefecture, with other major cities including Oyama, Tochigi, and Ashikaga.Tochigi Prefecture is one of only eight landlocked prefectures and its mountainous northern region is a popular tourist region in Japan. The Nasu area is known for its onsens, local sake, and ski resorts, the villa of the Imperial Family, and the Nasushiobara station of the Shinkansen railway line. The city of Nikkō, with its ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated among the inland prefectures of the northern part of the Kantō region, Tochigi is contiguous with Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima Prefectures.
The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone with broad variations in temperature. Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid with frequent thunderstorms.
The population of Tochigi as of November 2010 is approximately 2,005,096.
Located in the center of the prefecture is the largest open plain in the Kantō region. Shirane (2,578 metres (8,458 ft)), Nantai (2,484 metres (8,150 ft)) and Nasudake (1,917 metres (6,289 ft)) mountain are in the northern part of the area. Kinugawa, Nakagawa, and Watarase River originate in this region, which flow across the Kanto plain before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Tochigi is the 20th largest prefecture in Japan with a total area of 6,408.09 square km.
As of 1 April 2012, 21% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Nikkō National Park, Oze National Park, and eight Prefectural Natural Parks.
Before the Meiji Restoration, Tochigi was known as Shimotsuke Province.
In the early 15th century, Ashikaga Gakkō, Japan's oldest school of higher education, was re-established, holding over 3,000 students by the 16th century. Saint Francis Xavier introduced Ashikaga to the world as the best university in Japan.
In the early 17th century, Japan was unified by the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu. After his death, Tōshō-gū shrine was built in Nikkō on what the shōguns thought of as holy ground to protect and worship Ieyasu. The establishment of the Nikkō Tōshō-gū in 1617 brought Nikkō to national attention. [ citation needed ] The Tokugawa shogunate developed the Nikkō Kaidō (日光街道, part of the major road connecting Nikkō with Edo) and required lavish processions to worship Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line of shōguns.
In the late 19th century, the Tokugawa shogunate fell and the new government established the prefectures. The prefectural capital was established in the city of Tochigi after the unification of Utsunomiya Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture in 1873.By 1884, however, the capital was transferred to Utsunomiya.
In March 2011, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, levels of radioactivity in Utsunomiya were 33 times higher than normal.
The chief city of Utsunomiya is famous for its many gyoza specialist shops. Also located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture has one of the largest shopping malls in the North Kantō region, Bell Mall.
Fourteen cities are located in Tochigi Prefecture:
These are the towns in each district:
|Term of office|
|37-38||Jyukichi Kodaira (小平重吉)|
|12 April 1947||4 February 1955|
|39||Kichi Ogawa (小川喜一)|
|5 February 1955||4 February 1959|
|40-43||Nobuo Yokokawa (横川信夫)|
|5 February 1959||7 December 1974|
|44-46||Yuzuru Funada (船田譲)|
|8 December 1974||8 December 1984|
|47-50||Fumio Watanabe (渡辺文雄)|
|9 December 1984||8 December 2000|
|51||Akio Fukuda (福田昭夫)|
|9 December 2000||8 December 2004|
|52-55||Tomikazu Fukuda (福田富一)|
|9 December 2004||Present|
Located close to Tōkyō, Tochigi is home to many corporations and industrial zones, including the Kiyohara Industrial Complex, one of the largest inland industrial complexes in the country.
Industrial manufacturing accounts for 36.6% of the prefecture's total output. Vehicle parts and accessories are the primary products, followed by vehicles, radios and televisions, pharmaceuticals, and wireless communication equipment.
Below are goods manufactured in Tochigi with the highest market share in Japan:
|X-ray equipment for medical use||54.5%|
|Machinery and appliances for dental use||23.5%|
|X-ray equipment parts||57.5%|
|Injection molded plastic parts||14.1%|
(The 2004 industrial analysis report published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)
The annual gross agricultural output in Tochigi is about 274 billion yen. Rice, vegetables, and livestock are produced in the region. Tochigi is also known for strawberries, Chinese chives, and Japanese pears sold throughout Japan and exported to other countries. Approximately 55% of Tochigi is covered by forests. Mushrooms, such as Shiitake mushrooms, make up half of the forest industry, with an output of approximately 5.6 billion yen.
Tochigi is home to many universities and colleges including those for science and technology, literature, medicine, education, and art. Below is an alphabetical list of some of the universities located in Tochigi.
The sports teams and events listed below are based in Tochigi.
Tour de Tochigi, a cat 2.2 3-day road race of the UCI Asia Tour
Nikkō National Park is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site which was registered as the 10th World Heritage Site in 1999. This encompasses Rinnō-ji, Nikkō Tōshō-gū, Mount Nantai, and Futarasan Shrine. The Kegon Falls, also in Nikkō, is popular with tourists. To travel between the city and the falls, automobiles and buses take the Irohazaka, a road with dozens of switchbacks. In addition, 400-year-old Japanese Cedars (about 13,000 in total) line the famous Cedar Avenue of Nikkō for roughly 35 km, making it the longest tree-lined avenue in the world.
A more recent and modern attraction is the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit race course, which hosts the only IndyCar race outside the United States. The track also hosts many other race events including Formula One and motorcycle races as well as festivals and fireworks events.
Tochigi has many traditional festivals and events such as Nikkō Tōshō-gū's 1000 Samurai Procession and Horseback Archery Festival, and the city of Tochigi's Autumn Festival where doll floats are pulled around the city once every five years.
Other attractions include:
Traversing the prefecture along the north–south axis and connecting to the rest of the country are the Tōhoku Expressway and the new and old Route 4. From east to west spans Route 50, connecting southern Tochigi with Ibaraki and Gunma Prefectures.
Also connecting Tochigi, Gunma, and Ibaraki is the Kita-Kantō Expressway, with the 18.5 km that connect the Tochigi-Tsuga Interchange and the Utsunomiya-Kaminokawa Interchange. Portions of the Kita-Kantō Expressway are still being constructed and is set to be fully completed by 2011. The highway will link the region's other main transport arteries, the Tōhoku, the Jōban and the Kan-Etsu Expressways, providing a link to the international port of Hitachinaka in Ibaraki.
The Tōhoku Shinkansen and the JR Utsunomiya Line are the main railways running north and south in Tochigi. Shinkansen runs from Tokyo Station to Oyama in south Tochigi in 43 minutes. Utsunomiya can be reached by rail in as little as 48 minutes, and many parts of Tochigi are within commuting range of central Tokyo. To the east and west, the Mito and Ryōmō Lines connect Tochigi to Ibaraki and Gunma.
Freight is served by the Utsunomiya Freight Terminal.
Fukushima Airport is approximately an hour's drive from Utsunomiya on the Tōhoku Expressway. International and national air transportation is through Narita International Airport to the east of Tokyo, approximately three hours by vehicle from Utsunomiya.
Ibaraki Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Ibaraki Prefecture has a population of 2,871,199 and has a geographic area of 6,097.19 square kilometres. Ibaraki Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, and Chiba Prefecture to the south.
Gunma Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Gunma Prefecture has a population of 1,937,626 and has a geographic area of 6,362 km2. Gunma Prefecture borders Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Nagano Prefecture to the southwest, Saitama Prefecture to the south, and Tochigi Prefecture to the east.
Tochigi is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 159,056 in 66,018 households, and a population density of 480 persons per km². The total area of the city is 331.50 square kilometres (127.99 sq mi). Because the city escaped war damage during World War II, many historical temples, traditional shops and kura remain in the city center. The city was awarded the "Utsukushii-machinami Taisho" prize from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2009.
Utsunomiya is the prefectural capital city of Tochigi Prefecture in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of 1 January 2020, the city had an estimated population of 519,223, and a population density of 1,246 persons per square kilometre (3,230/sq mi). The total area of the city is 416.85 km2 (160.95 sq mi). Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza. There are more than two hundred gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya.
Nikkō is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 2 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 80,239 in 36,531 households, and a population density of 55 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 1,449.83 square kilometres (559.78 sq mi). It is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists. Attractions include the mausoleum of shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu and that of his grandson Iemitsu, and the Futarasan Shrine, which dates to the year 767 AD. There are also many famous hot springs (onsen) in the area. Elevations range from 200 to 2,000 meters. The Japanese saying 【日光を見ずして結構と言うなかれ】 "Never say 'kekkō' until you've seen Nikkō"—kekkō meaning beautiful, magnificent or "I am satisfied"—is a reflection of the beauty and sites in Nikkō.
Ōtawara is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 72,189 in 30,136 households, and a population density of 210 persons per km2. The total area of the city is 354.36 square kilometres (136.82 sq mi). The city's name may also be spelled "Ohtawara" as indicated by the official city website.
Yaita is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2020, the city had an estimated population of 31,859 in 13,173 households, and a population density of 67 persons per km². The total area of the town is 170.46 square kilometres (65.81 sq mi).
Shimotsuke Province was a province of Japan in the area of Japan that is today Tochigi Prefecture. Shimotsuke was bordered by Kōzuke, Hitachi, Mutsu and Shimōsa Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was Yashū (野州). Under the Engishiki classification system, Shimotsuke was ranked as one of the 13 "great countries" (大国) in terms of importance, and one of the 30 "far countries" (遠国) in terms of distance from the capital. The provincial capital is located in what is now the city of Tochigi. The Ichinomiya of the province is the Futarasan jinja located in what is now the city of Utsunomiya.
Nogi is a town located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 April 2020, the town had an estimated population of 25,050 in 10,153 households, and a population density of 830 persons per km². The total area of the town is 30.26 square kilometres (11.68 sq mi).
The Ryōmō Line is a Japanese railway line connecting Oyama in Tochigi Prefecture with Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture. 84.4 km (52.4 mi) long, the line is owned and operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The name refers to the fact that Gunma and Tochigi prefectures were once part of an ancient province called Keno (毛野), which was later split into Kōzuke (Gunma) and Shimotsuke (Tochigi). This line connects both halves of the old province.
Nasushiobara is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 115,794 in 48,437 households, and a population density of 67 persons per km². The total area of the city is 592.74 square kilometres (228.86 sq mi).
National Route 4 is a major national highway in eastern Honshū, Japan. Measuring 738.5-kilometer-long (458.9 mi) it is the longest highway in the country. When oversea routes are included, it is the second longest highway in Japan, with National Route 58 then measuring 884.4 kilometers (549.5 mi) because of its maritime sections. The highway connects Tokyo and Aomori via Utsunomiya, Kōriyama, Sendai, and Morioka.
National Route 6 is a Japanese highway from Tokyo to Sendai that goes through the cities Mito, Iwaki and Sōma. It traces the old Mito Kaidō route from Tokyo to Mito, and, for much of its 353.6-kilometer (219.7 mi) route, it runs parallel to the Jōban railway line and the Jōban Expressway.
Nikkō National Park is a national park in the Kantō region, on the main island of Honshū in Japan. The park spreads over four prefectures: Tochigi, Gunma, Fukushima, and Niigata, and was established in 1934.
Utsunomiya Station is a railway station in the city of Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The station also is a freight depot for the Japan Freight Railway Company.
Oyama is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2020, the city had an estimated population of 167,647 in 70,928 households, and a population density of 980 persons per km². The total area of the city is 171.76 square kilometres (66.32 sq mi). In 2006, Oyama became the second most populous city in Tochigi Prefecture, with the capital Utsunomiya retaining the number one spot.
The Ōshū Kaidō (奥州街道) was one of the five routes of the Edo period. It was built to connect Edo with Mutsu Province and the present-day city of Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu for government officials traveling through the area.
The Kita-Kantō Expressway is a 4-laned national expressway in Japan. It is owned and operated by East Nippon Expressway Company.
Utsunomiya Domain was a feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan, located in Shimotsuke Province, Japan. It was centered on Utsunomiya Castle in what is now part of the city of Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya was ruled by numerous daimyō clans during its history.
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