culture & community travel

A Weekend in Tochigi: Finding Repose in a Pandemic

by fleurdelilah — September 30, 2020
weekend in tochigi trick art museum optical illusion witch

After months of being in Tokyo, we finally took a weekend trip to Nasu, Tochigi.

Last week, Amber shared her rejuvenating mom break. So for this week, I thought I’d share our weekend in Tochigi. Over this past weekend, my husband, my dog, and I went with some family friends to the neighboring prefecture of Tochigi for a weekend in the woods. 

A Dog-Friendly, Family-Friendly Weekend in Tochigi

As mentioned in my last post, my husband and I normally travel (internationally) multiple times a year. But due to COVID-19, this close, two-and-a-half-day getaway was our first trip in months. And although the weather was less than desirable, we were able to relax and unwind.

We went to Nasu, a resort town in Tochigi that’s located a little over two hours northeast of Tokyo. Despite its close proximity to Tokyo, I would say that Nasu is not as popular among foreign visitors as other destinations, often overshadowed by nearby Nikko. That said, it is a well-known getaway destination for locals. Nasu is a mountainous area with a variety of attractions, including hot springs, hiking, winter sports, and family-friendly activities. 

Since it was raining nearly the whole time we were there, we didn’t do too much outdoors. But, we did go out and do some off-leash walks with the dog and play in the yard at our Airbnb. As a dog mom, it was deeply satisfying to see all of our pup’s off-leash training and recall put to use in an environment full of new sounds, scents, and interests. 

weekend in tochigi pomsky dog at trick art museum wings

This dog-friendly trick art museum was one of the highlights of our weekend in Tochigi.

While many places in Japan are not dog-friendly, Nasu has a couple of dog-friendly options. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to find a few places to eat and some things to do. One of the highlights of the trip for me was the trick art museum. While we’ve been to similar museums before, this time we were able to go with the pup! Both she and our friend’s baby were super cute in the optical illusions.

While the weather was less than ideal, it was great to get away from the polluted and crowded city to enjoy time with the family. This trip also gave us some time to think more about our permanence in Japan and what we want in the future. 

Now off to put some itch cream on those mosquito bites and plan our next trip!

Have you been able to travel since the beginning of the pandemic? If so, where did you go?

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