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One-Day 'Citizen Passport' Brings Japan's Ancient Tochigi City to Life

A fascinating day trip from Japan's capital, Tochigi City is often called "Little Edo" (meaning "Little Old Tokyo"), a place to immerse and unwind in the ambiance of simpler, bye-gone days, reminiscent of Japan's Edo period (1603-1868). The Tochigi One-Day Citizen Passport provides perks and discounts that make it easy and affordable to explore!

With a population of around 160,000, Tochigi is just a 70-minute Tobu Railway ride north of Tokyo's Tobu Asakusa Station (in the historic Shitamachi neighborhood), offers a One-Day Citizen Passport that provides discounts and other benefits at Tochigi-area activities, attractions, shops, restaurants, and transportation services.

Yokoyama Local Cultural Hall

Tochigi City was one of the most prominent commercial centers during the Edo period, prospering in maritime trade with Edo via the Uzuma River. Its "Little Edo" is due to its well preserved kura (storehouse) and machiya (merchant) style wooden buildings, old Japanese townscape, and "back-in-time" maritime transport. It's well worth a visit as a place to immerse and unwind amid the ambiance of simpler, bye-gone days. Online, a sightseeing guide showcases the major attractions, restaurants, souvenir shops, and rest stops.

Proprietor at Kikuya a local confectionery famous for dorayaki, sweet red bean paste sandwiched between two pancakes.

On the spot, there is a free One-Day Citizen Passport (ODCP) that can be obtained at the Tochigi Station Tourist Information Center, to the right at Tochigi Station, just passed the train ticket barrier.

To use ODCP, show it to any of the 40 supporting facilities, at these three attractions you'll get: 

Kuranomachi Pleasure Boat: A free souvenir photo at the lounge – dress in traditional Japanese attire and take a commemorative photograph taken (delivered on the spot, one photo per group). Ride the boat along the Uzuma River at a 100-yen discount *In April and May, during the annual Uzuma Carp Streamer Festival -- when over 1,150 carp streamers caress the city skyline and waft in the springtime breeze, the ODCP discount is still valid! 

Yokoyama Local Culture Hall
: Free admission – See a replica Edo period wholesale store and bank; stroll the Japanese garden; play with period children's toys.

Koedo Ichiba: Free coffee (one cup per person) at this shop selling attractive souvenirs and specialty foods.

Uzuma Carp Streamer Festival

Get Your Passport Stamped!

Participating facilities will stamp your passport. Collect at least four stamps in your ODCP and receive a special gift of a memorial card and Japanese hand towel or postcard from the Tochigi City Tourist Association office.

Museum Combination Ticket:

Four participating museums – Okada Memorial Hall, Tsukada Memorial Hall, Adachi Antiquarian Museum, and Tochigi Doll Float Museum -- offer a combination ticket with the ODCP that can be purchased at anyone of them, reducing the total entrance cost from 2,400 to 1,500 yen.

Getting Around: The ODCP also includes a walking tour map with suggested tour courses, according to the amount of time you have for your visit. The map highlights how long it takes to walk from one site location to the next and the suggested spend time at each site.  To speed things up, there are also walking alternatives discounted with the ODCP:

  1. Cycle Park rents bicycles for ¥400 per day -- reduced from ¥500 without ODCP.
  2. Fureai sightseeing bus runs a city loop for ¥100 – reduced from ¥200 without ODCP.
  3. Tochigi Godo Taxi service, offers a 120-minute sightseeing tour for ¥6,000 yen (pick-up next to Tochigi Station). For those who are traveling with luggage, Tochigi Godo Taxi also offers baggage check for ¥300 per day.

Volunteer Goodwill Guide:

Those planning a trip to Tochigi City in advance, with at least two or more people, can also book a volunteer guide from 9 am to 5 pm. Fill out the application form and email it to no less than one week prior to date of visit. Each traveler's guided program can be customized to include a particular site visit or experience, such as: sweet-making at a historic confectionery, a fun town walk in an authentic Japanese kimono, origami paper folding, or even a dip at a traditional Japanese public bath (experience fees vary).  See the application for further details.

The local people of Tochigi City are honored to have you visit their hometown and will welcome you as their personal guests. Explore Tochigi City with the One-Day Citizen Passport as if you truly are a one-day citizen!

Tochigi Citizen Passport Mascot

For more information on Tochigi City check out this video.

Tochigi City is just one of numerous sightseeing locales accessible via Tobu Railways. To explore more destinations via Tobu Railways, visit at TOBU JAPAN TRIP:

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