3月 27, 2019
Top 10 Tourist Attractions & Best Things to Do in Kinugawa, Japan
Kinugawa is in the Tochigi prefecture which is to the north of Tokyo. It is the place with a long history and it is as popular as Izu and Kusatsu. You can go there without any sense of hesitation from Tokyo. Nowadays, it has become popular among foreign visitors, as the hot-spring town which has a nostalgic Japanese charm in addition to the beauty of the gorge. I’m introducing the 10 sightseeing spots which you should keep in your mind if you visit Kinugawa. When you go to the Tochigi prefecture, please visit them!
1. You shouldn’t miss the strawberry picking! When you talk about Kinugawa sightseeing! [Nikko Hanaichimonme]
The [Nikko Hanaichimonme] is the place which I’d like to recommend to people and their children. You can unquestionably enjoy the flowers, but you can also enjoy strawberry picking. In the Kinugawa area where there are many spots for adults such as hot-springs and the gorge, this is also a precious place for children. The Japan leading Begonia Garden in full bloom in the green house is famous and on the site of 4,000-tsubo (13,200㎡), various flowers such as pansies as well as orchids have been increased.
Speaking of Tochigi, when all is said and done, you can’t ignore strawberries! Please enjoy strawberry picking here! Inside the garden, they are selling the jars of jam made from the Tochi-otome which is the representative of all strawberries. There is the facility where you can come into contact with little animals like hamsters! It is the spot for a family, preparing flowers, strawberries and animals.
Hana-to-midori-no-rakuen Nikko Hanaichimonme
Address: 800 Kosagoesakanoshita Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Time: 9:00 ~ 16:30
Close: open throughout the year
Admission: adult – ¥800 / child – ¥400
Access: a 15-minute-walk from the Kosagoe station
Map: map to Hana-to-midori-no-rakuen Nikko Hanaichimonme
2. The experience of coming into contact with nature in Kinugawa The spot where you can enjoy a forest-bath [Ohtakikasen Yuuhodo]
The [Ohtakikasen Yuuhodo] is a footpath along the river Kinugawa where you can fully enjoy Mother Nature, starting from the Kinuiwa bridge in front of the Kinugawa-koen station on the upper stream of the Kinugawa hot-spring town up to the Kamitakikasen-park about 1km in length. Even if you walk slowly, it only takes 20-30 minutes. The Ohtaki-park, Auto-camping site and Nikko Doll Museum are nearby.
When you stay over night in the hot-spring town, why don’t you have a morning walk there? You can enjoy not only a hot-spring but also a forest-bath! There is a parking space at the foot of the Kinuiwa bridge, so there is no problem even if you visit there in your car! This is the recommended place for sightseeing in Kinugawa.
Address: Taki Kinugawa-onsen Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Phone: +81-288-22-1525 (Nikko-city Tourist Association)
Access: a 10-minute-walk from the Kinugawa-koen station
Map: map to Ohtakikasen Yuuhodo
3. The spot from where you can command a view of the natural beauty! The suspension bridge over the river Kinugawa [Kinutateiwa Ohtsuribashi]
The [Kinutateiwa Ohtsuribashi] is the long suspension bridge for walking use only and connects the hot-spring town and Tateiwa and is 140m in length. The high masculine looking Tateiwa (100m high gigantic rock) and the feminine landscape of the river Kinugawa are well balanced and therefore, it has become to be famous as a match-making site. Especially, in the season of the autumn leaves, you can have a view of all the mountains turning a bright red.
After enjoying the spectacular scenery from the observation deck on the top of the Tateiwa, why don’t you relax in the Ashi-yu (foot-bath) Café at the foot of the bridge? It is at the lower stream of the Kinugawa hot-spring town. When you want to get away from the day to day life and refresh, this sightseeing spot is just right for you!
Address: 1436 Ohhara Kinugawa-onsen Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Phone: +81-288-77-2052 (Nikko-city Tourist Association Kawaji branch)
Access: a 3-minute-ride in a car from the Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to Kinutateiwa Ohtsuribashi
4. The spot where you can feel Japan from the Taisho-era! [Nikko Yumeji Takehisa Museum]
Yumeji Takehisa was one of the typical Taisho romanticism painters who were in fashion in the Taisho-era. What is now called the combination of a designer and a copy-writer and in the CM of the Hechima-cologne, his well-known work was used. You can fully enjoy his elegant works at this museum. His museum is in the Ikaho hot-spring town as well. The hot-spring town and the Taisho romanticism are a perfect match, aren’t they?
The stained-glass window with a camellia of the museum is worth seeing. The 2 restaurants are established side by side and the Kaiseki-ryori (tea ceremony dishes), using yuba (tofu skin skimmed from the hot soymilk) is very popular among female visitors. Please indulge in the graceful moment, when you visit Kinugawa.
Nikko Yumeji Takehisa Museum
Address: 772-1 Karakura Kinugawa-onsen Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Time: 9:30 ~ 17:00
Admission: adult – ¥850 / child – ¥400
Access: a 7-minute-ride in a car from Ohkuwa station
Map: map to Nikko Yumeji Takehisa Museum
5. The spot where you can experience the Kinugawa hot-spring without any sense of hesitation! [Kinuko-no-yu]
Recently, the free foot-bath, Kinuko-no-yu near the Kurogane bridge which is in the small upper stream from the Kinugawa-onsen station has come up in conversation. The Kinuko is a sister of the Kinugawa-onsen official character, Kinuta. The hot-spring water quality is the alkali simple spring and there is no doubt that you will be physically eased. Even though it is a foot-bath, there is a changing room. It is good news for females, isn’t it?
As it is quite a new facility which was set up in the 20th year of Heisei (2008), everything is clean. There is a unique facility, the Te-yu (hand-bath) as well. It would be nice to enjoy the Te-yu, viewing the gorge in the Kinugawa hot-spring town, dreamily. Please visit the place when you come to Kinugawa.
Address: 1-15 Fujihara Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Phone: +81-288-22-1525 (Nikko-city tourist Association)
Time: 9:00 ~ 17:00
Close: open throughout the year
Admission: free of charge
Access: a 15-minute-walk from the Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to Kinuko-no-yu (Ashi-yu)
6. Slip back to the Edo-era in time! You can come into contact with the Japanese culture [Nikko Edo-mura(village)]
The [Nikko Edo-mura] is the amusement facility in which the streets from the Edo-era have been reconstructed. This facility is very popular with the foreign visitors, as they can see a Ninja and a Oiran (courtesan) who symbolize the Edo-era in Japan. The street has been reproducing the flamboyant times from the Genroku (1688 ~ 1704) to Kyoho-era (1716 ~ 1736).
Here, you can enjoy not only walking around on the street but also you can rent a costume and you can pretend to be a person in the Edo-era. It is especially recommended to people who are interested in Japanese history!
EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edo-mura
Address: 470-2 Karakura Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Time: 9:00 ~ 17:00 (1st December ~ 19th March 9:30 ~ 16:00)
Admission: adult – ¥4,700 / child – ¥2,400 (day ticket)
Access: a 10-minute-ride in a car from the Tobu-Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edo-mura
7. Speaking of the Kinugawa sightseeing, this is the ultimate place! The spot most sightseers want to visit [Kinugawa-onsen Ropeway]
There are many highlights when you have a view on the summit of the Kinugawa-onsen ropeway. On the [Monkey mountain] where dozens of monkeys welcome you, you can feed them. The [Onsen-jinja (shrine)] is famous for the red Toriis (shrine gate) in a row. This is the branch shrine of the Toyokawa Inari-jinja.
The observation deck at the terminal of the ropeway is totally made from cypress, so you can experience the Japanese taste. It is a popular spot from where you can command a view of 360 degrees. The ropeway goes up 300m in 3 and a half minutes. When you visit Kinugawa, please go there!
Address: 834 Taki Kinugawa-onsen Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Time: 9:00 ~ 16:00
Close: open throughout the year
Usage-fee: (return ticket) adult – ¥1,100 / child – ¥550
Access: a 5-minute-ride in a car from the Tobu-Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to Kinugawa-onsen Ropeway
8. The feeling is you are travelling around the world! You can enjoy various miniatures. [Tobu World Square]
The [Tobu World Square] constructed by the Tobu-train company has been called the World Architectural Museum. The building has been divided into 6 zones, according to the theme. You can enjoy the miniature Pyramid, The Parthenon and the Golden Pavilion etc. There are about 46 world heritage miniatures at the moment.
Actually, in this World Square, the miniature Tokyo SkyTree appeared 2 years prior to its completion. You can have a very precious experience here! Let’s go on a small trip around the world!
Tobu World Square
Address: 209-1 Ohhara Kinugawa-onsen
Time: 9:00 ~ 17:00 (1st December ~ 19th March 9:30 ~ 16:00 )
Close: open throughout the year
Admission: adult – ¥2,800 / child – ¥1,400 (day ticket)
Access: a 5-minute-ride on a bus from the Tobu Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to Tobu World Square
9. You can feel Mother Nature in the Kinugawa-onsen! The popular sightseeing spot [Ryuo-kyo]
At the [Ryuo-kyo] on the upper stream of the Kinugawa-onsen, you can enjoy the wild nature. If you walk a full course, it will take 4 hours, but the most common course is the [Musasabi bridge circuit course] which takes about 90 minutes. You can encircle the part of the lower stream of the Ryuo-kyo.
As there are so many highlights, it will be better to walk slowly, taking time. You can enjoy 2 different types of waterfalls, one is the dynamic, [Nijimi-no-taki] and the other one is the delicate stream, [Tategoto-no-taki]. You can’t miss the scenery from the Musasabi bridge which makes you feel weak at the knees.
The upper stream from here is called [Seiryu-kyo] and the water of the valley has a deep blue colour. The miso-oden at the [Musasabi-chaya(tea-room)] is very popular. It is a famous product in this area. Please don’t forget to pay a visit to the Goryuo Shrine that has a long and distinguished history!
Address: 1357 Fujihara Nikko-city Tochigi prefecture
Access: a short walking distance from the Ryuo-kyo station
Map: map to Ryuo-kyo
10. This is the standard spot in Kinugawa! The spot where you can experience nature [Kinugawa Line-kudari (going downstream in a boat)]
When you visit Kinugawa, this [Kinugawa Line-kudari] is a must do! It is a dynamic attraction moving down from the hot-spring town towards the lower stream, taking 40 minutes! Put on the life-jacket just in case and watch the dotted strange shaped rocks such as a [Saruiwa (monkey rock)] on the other side of the train truck and enjoy the skipper’s skill and his talk!
The best season for this activity is autumn when the leaves change into beautiful colours. Of course in summer, you can enjoy the attractive fresh greens. The boarding place is a short walking distance from the Kinugawa-onsen station. It won’t be operated during winter, so please check it out in advance!
Address: 1414 Ohhara Kinugawa-onsen Nikko-city
Time: depart during 9:00 ~ 15:45
Usage-fee: adult – ¥2,700 / child – ¥1,200
Access: a 5-minute-walk from the Kinugawa-onsen station
Map: map to Kinugawa Line-kudari
Let’s go to the recommended sightseeing spots in Kinugawa!
The Tochigi prefecture is a sightseeing place which you can reach in a few hours by car from Tokyo. It has various spots where you can feel its history and can experience nature. Please enjoy them when you visit the Tochigi prefecture. Please enjoy their delicious gourmets as well.