7 Great Things to do in the Traditional Town of Mashiko, Tochigi!

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  • Tochigi Prefecture is very famous for its history of pottery and pottery production and is beginning to attract many tourists for its more traditional and local feel. Mashiko is a town in Tochigi Prefecture where visitors can immerse themselves in the tradition of pottery making and also participate in other activities. This article will recommend seven things you can do while in Mashiko, Tochigi!

    1. Ride the Moka Railway Steam Locomotive Train

    The Moka Line is the only railway line being operated by the Moka Railway. This railway line connects Shimodate Station in Chikusei, Ibaraki and Motegi Station in Motegi, Tochigi.

    The locomotive train runs every weekend and also during public holidays. The train arrives at Mashiko Station twice a day, at 11:34 AM and 15:01 PM, with one ride costing 500 yen.

    Moka Railway Website
    Mashiko Station Access

    2. Visit Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art

    Mashiko, Tochigi is famous for Japanese pottery and ceramics. The Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art has five exhibition halls that focus on ceramics. Exhibition Hall 1 is dedicated to the works of the late Shoji Hamada, who was designated a ‘Living National Treasure’ in 1955.

    The house where Shoji Hamada lived was relocated to the museum when it became a cultural property of Mashiko in 1989. Exhibition Halls 2 and 3 are dedicated to the currently active artists in Mashiko.


    3. Visit Hamada Memorial Mashiko Sankokan Museum

    The Shoji Hamada Memorial Mashiko Sankokan Museum is a museum where the works of Shoji Hamada, the first person to be designated as a ‘Living National Treasure’, is displayed for the public to appreciate.

    The term Sankokan means “Hall of Reference”, and is based on the museum’s intention that people could view the works that deeply impressed Shoji Hamada.

    Website *Japanese only

    4. Pick and Eat Strawberries at JA Hagano Mashiko Strawberry Picking

    Tochigi Prefecture is known as “Strawberry Kingdom”, with it being Japan’s number one producer and center of research for strawberries. There are actually numerous places where visitors can pick strawberries.

    JA Hagano Mashiko Strawberry Complex is one of those places. It is the largest strawberry farm in the prefecture, with 12 farms and a total of 111 greenhouses! The farm is open from December to May every year. Here, visitors can pick and eat strawberries and purchase local products from the farmer’s market.

    Website *Japanese Only

    5. Participate in a Workshop-Based Tour at Tonoike Sake Brewery

    The current brewery was founded by Itsugoro Tonoike in 1937, but the Tonoike family has been brewing sake in Tochigi Prefecture since 1829. The current brewery is run by Itsugoro’s grandson, Shigeki Tonoike.

    The brewery also offers a workshop-based tour, where visitors can participate in sake label making, sake tasting, or sake rice planting and harvesting. The tour is available in English, but visitors should contact the brewery first through their website.

    Website *Japanese only

    6. Create Your Own Pottery at Mashiko Pottery Street

    Visitors to Mashiko can create their own pottery by visiting Jonaizaka Street. There are around 30 pottery shops here where you can participate in workshops, buy pottery, or dine in pottery-themed restaurants!


    7. Eat at One of Mashiko’s Soba Restaurants

    Mashiko’s soba restaurants are also quite popular among tourists. The Mashiko Town Tourist Association even made a “Soba and Udon Noodle Map” that can be accessed through their website. After a day of activities, a bowl of soba or udon can complete a perfect trip!


    Mashiko is a town that is famous for its pottery, but there are also other things that it is known for. There are definitely other things that visitors can try when they visit the town. This article hopes to encourage people to create their own itinerary when they visit the beautiful town of Mashiko!

    Mashiko Official Tourist Website
    Would you like to stay in Mashiko? Check out all the hotels in the area here!