Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hey everybody, for this video, we will be looking at what makes Utsunomiya such a great place. It is a mid-size city with many scenic spots nearby, and it is just a short 45-minute ride from Tokyo by bullet train. As a food lover, Utsunomiya is a great place. The main food Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza. There are currently over 200 gyoza shops in Utsunomiya, with Min Min and Masashi being the most famous, while Gyotendo is my personal favorite. Gyoza and beer is a match made in heaven. You should be prepared to wait for 30 minutes or more to be seated on holidays and weekends. If you want to eat some delicious noodles, Ippinko offers both gyoza and ramen which is great. There are a few bakeries worth checking out. For Beatles fans, we highly recommend Penny Lane. You also can't go wrong with a hamburger from either Mother Road or Sandy's. Or you can go to The Pancake Factory, which has great omelets and, you guessed it, pancakes. Tochigi prefecture is famous for its strawberries having produced most of Japan's strawberries for over 50 years, which has led to some people to call it the “Strawberry Kingdom”. You can travel just outside of the city and handpick some not only great looking but also great tasting strawberries. The city prides itself on being home to a number of quality cocktail bars. The most famous being Flair, which puts on a very cool show. It turns out Utsunomiya is also great for Jazz lovers. It's the birthplace of the famous Japanese jazz musician, Sadao Watanabe and it is worth checking out a live performance at one of the local jazz clubs. I was recently surprised to learn that renowned GHIBLI animator, Hayao Miyazaki, spent some of his childhood less than a mile from where I live now. His love of these rural settings is a central theme in many of his movies. The 15th floor of the prefectural office offers a great view of the city. This is also a great place to learn more about Tochigi and get information. Just a five minute walk away from here is an excellent park, Hachimanyama. Which is great for the little ones and is quite beautiful in the spring. If you want a better view of the park, you can go up Utsunomiya Tower. The park also offers free go-carts on certain days for you to enjoy. There are some great street festivals held throughout the year. The largest being a summer festival held in August called Miya Matsuri. And finally, one of the best parts of being in Tochigi is access to Nikko, which has world Heritage sites with excellent hiking, waterfalls, shrines, and mountain scenery to enjoy. You may run across some wild monkeys depending on the season, which is cool, but it's best to keep your distance. If this hasn't been enough to convince you that Utsunomiya is worth a visit, there are dozens of attractions in and around Utsunomiya that you may enjoy. Utsunomiya hosts Japan's only Tour De France style International cycling race, the Japan Cup. Utsunomiya is also home to the Tochigi Brex, the Japanese professional basketball champions. The nearby Oya town has some fascinating underground mines that are worth a look. Tochigi has a few sake factories that are open to the public. There is also a massive water park nearby holding up to 10,000 guests that's worth a visit. Motegi Twin Ring which has a car museum, rides, and racing events, is a great place to visit for car lovers. Wakayama Farm has a bamboo forest, which is a popular spot for filming. And the Utsunomiya Zoo lets you get up close and personal with a number of animals. So, if you would like to spend a day or a weekend exploring outside the Tokyo area, we recommend giving the capital of the Strawberry Kingdom a shot. We have included a variety of links for more information in the description below for your convenience. If you have any questions, we would be happy to try and answer them in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this video feel free to check out our other videos where we explore more of Japan. Thanks for watching, this has been Inside Japan.