Utsunomiya City, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, has a population of about 520,000 and serves as the prefecture’s political, economic, and cultural center. Utsunomiya City has a beautiful and rich natural environment, good access to Tokyo, and various urban facilities.
The city developed in the Heian period as a gateway to the Futaarayama Shrine and prospered as a castle town in the Edo period, forming the prototype of the present-day city.
In 2019, Utsunomiya city’s potential for sustainable development through creating new values in the economy, society, and environment was recognized, and Utsunomiya city was one of the few cities to be selected as an “SDGs Future City” in Japan.
Utsunomiya City’s culture is diverse. In its rural area, there are a series of unique festival floats (Amadana and Yatai) well preserved, and in the Oya area, there is a unique landscape developed by the Oya stone quarrying industry. In May 2018, Utsunomiya was recognized as a Japanese Heritage Site as part of the “Journey to explore the secrets of the underground labyrinth: Utsunomiya, a town with thriving Oya stone culture”. As a result, more and more tourists are expected to visit in the future.
Utsunomiya has a mild climate similar to that of Tokyo. Utsunomiya is also called the “Righto (Thunder Capital)” due to the frequent lightning storms in the summer.