Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Furusatonomori Park, Tochigi

Map Location

This is a nice place to spend a few hours. But its something to do on the way somewhere or in combination with something else. You need a car to get here.

There are some traditional style Japanese houses with thatched roofs and wooden floors that are rather nice. There is no entry fee. And the surroundings are quite beautiful. There is a little soba restaurant there where you can eat. You could have a picnic there too but there are no tables.

Behind the houses are some hills and there are some tracks that you can walk up. At the top of the hill is a good playground. The path continues beyond the playground and eventually goes down the hill and joins the road not far from the car park. All up its probably a bit over an hours walk. We couldn't see any more extensive paths.

Dhanyawad Restaurant - Otawara

Map Location

This is the only Indian restaurant in the area. The next nearest one that we know of is in Utsonomiya.

Its just off highway 400 and is quite easy to get to. It would be a bit over 3 km from Nishinasuno station if you were to walk it.

In Japan it can be quite hard for vegetarians. The concept is not very common here. I am quite sure many people in Japanese restaurants have found that in fact there was meat in that dish. So this is a good place if you don't eat meat or want to entertain somebody who doesn't.

The food is North Indian in style. All the traditional food is there. You can get get Nan bread, Lassys, Tandoori, Dahl, Mahkani etc. I didn't see any paneer on the menu. You can get sets for groups if you want to share. And the food is good too. And the prices are low. You should get out of there for less than 2-3000 yen per head I think. I recommend this restaurant.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Motegi Twin Ring - Tochigi, Japan

Map Location

Twin Ring Motegi is a motor racing track in Tochigi. There are a number of racetracks there. There is a Formula-1 type track, a regular race car track, a dirt track and a go cart track. There are lots of driving courses like safety training (of course, this is Japan), riding in a stock car at high speeds, driving a big yellow USA school bus and more.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy our trip there very much. We are not into motor sports at all. Anyway we ended up going with some folks from work and had a good day. If you are in the area then I think there are a couple of things your shouldn't miss there.

First of all is the Honda Fan Fun Lab. It shows some Honda future technologies. Its not that big and won't take you that long to walk around it. But there is an outstanding display of the history of Honda robots. And there is a demonstration where you can watch their latest robot walk around on stage.

Next there is the Honda Collection Hall which has a very large display on the history of Honda motorcycles, cars and race vehicles. Its really very good too. The best vehicle is an old wood and bronze steam motorcycle.

All in all a pretty good day. I recommend the trip. Especially if you are in the area. It would combine well on a day trip with the Mashiko pottery area which is also nearby.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Starting the Tochigi, Japan Blog

So today we are kicking off our Tochigi blog.

We want to blog about something interesting and useful. And something that we might have more knowledge about than others. Perhaps we can make the best English blog about Tochigi in the world.

Its going to mean a lot of trips to restaurants, onsens, national parks and other scenic attractions. Tough work, but I think we are up to the task.