Ashikaga, a Town with Abundant Natural Beauty, History, Culture and Flowers
Ashikaga is known as the birthplace of the Ashikaga clan, a shogun family in the Muromachi Period. Along the stone-paved streets, there are historic sites of the Ashikaga School, which is said to be the foundation of a school for the original Ashikaga family and is designated as a Japan Heritage, and the Banna-ji Temple, whose Main Hall is designated as a National Treasure. Kurita Museum, which possesses a world-famous collection of Nabeshima wares of Imari, and Ashikaga Flower Park, famous for its large wisteria trellis spreading over a large area, are also found here. These attractions are always bustling with visitors. Ashikaga is described as a historic and traditional “Little Kyoto in Eastern Japan” with the pristine Watarase River and abundant nature with green mountains.
Sightseeing Highlights in Ashikaga
Historic Site Ashikaga School
This temple enshrines Dainichi Nyorai. It retains the atmosphere of an old samurai residence in the Kamakura Period (12-14th century). The Main Hall was designated as a National Treasure in August, 2013.
Ashikaga Orihime Shrine
This is a shrine which enshrines the guardian deity of Ashikaga which once flourished as a textile town. The shrine is also worshipped as a place for romantic match-making and is the arrival and departure point of the Ashikaga Prefectural Nature Park hiking trail.
Ashikaga Flower Park
Important Annual Events in Ashikaga
New Year’s Visit at Banna-ji Temple
Ashikaga Spring Festival
Hatsuyama Festival (Petanko Festival)
This is the festival for opening mountain day held at Otoko Sengen Shrine and Onna Sengen Shrine. Babies who were born during the previous year come to the shrines to receive sacred stamps on their foreheads to pray for their eternal health.
Ashikaga Fireworks Festival
This is a traditional event which has continued for over 100 years. It is a representative event of Ashikaga. The large fireworks display continues for two hours making it the biggest fireworks festival in the Kanto area.
Ashikaga Summer Festival
Ahikaga Takigi Noh
The elegant traditional performance, Noh, originated in the Muromachi Period (14-16th century) is performed with Takigi Noh (firelight Noh) at Banna-ji Temple, which is the former residence of Ashikaga and its family temple.
Traditional Crafts of Ashikaga
This shop and studio has opened a class teaching how to dye cloths with 100% natural indigo (made by an ash liquid fermentation method using Sukumo scum) for people who want to try dyeing with indigo by themselves or to make their own works.
Address: 2-7-5, Ise-cho
Food & Specialties of Ashikaga
This is a specialty of Ashikaga. This cake’s motif is based on Koin, an old mark or sign and seal used in Ashikaga School or Banna-ji Temple. Traditional bean-jam-filled wafers with a crispy, good smelling thin wrapping of dough.
Available at: Koun-do main shop
Address: 2570, 4-chome, Tori
“Ashikaga Awase-men Orihime”
This is a new noodle menu developed from an existing Ashikaga brand buckwheat noodle. It was planned by Ashikaga Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to make a new food of Ashikaga. Enjoy this noodle after dipping in a meat-tasting broth.
Contact: Ashikaga Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“Coco & Farm Winery”
The wine is made with a great deal of deliberation and time by students in “Kokoromi School”, a support facility for people with disabilities, who are proud of its quality. The quality is attested to by the fact that the wine was served at the “Okinawa Summit” and “Toyako Summit”.
Address: 611 Tajima-cho
- By train: Ashikaga Station on JR Ryomo Line or Ashikagashi Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line
By car: Kanto Highway Ashikaga I.C. or Tohoku Highway Sano Fujioka I.C.
- Ashikaga City Tourism Association
- TEL：0284-43-3000 / FAX：0284-43-3333
- URL： https://www.ashikaga-kankou.jp/