Portal:Japan/Geography/Selected prefecture/9

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Flag of Tochigi Prefecture

Tochigi Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya is famous for its many gyoza specialist shops. Also located in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture has one of the largest shopping malls in the North Kantō region, Bell Mall. Nikkō, whose ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture. Nikkō is approximately one hour by train from Tokyo and approximately 35 km west of the capital Utsunomiya. Other famous parts of Tochigi include a region called Nasu known for onsen and local sake and ski resorts. The Imperial family has a villa in Nasu. Nasu Shiobara is a major Shinkansen station. Another onsen resort is at Kinugawa Onsen. Situated among the inland prefectures of the Northern portion of the Kanto region, Tochigi is contiguous with the four prefectures of Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, and Fukushima. The climate of Tochigi may be classified as a humid temperate zone in which there are broad variations in temperature. Winters are arid with dry winds, while summers are humid and punctuated with frequent thunderstorms. The population of Tochigi, as of March 2007, was approximately 2,014,900 and was increasing until 2005. In 2006, the population started to decrease, mirroring that of the nation's population decrease. About 500,000 people live in the prefectural capital city of Utsunomiya, with the remainder dispersed over 14 other cities and 17 towns.