If you're visiting Nikko, one of the most popular sightseeing areas near Tokyo, one place you might want to add to your list is the Ohyaishi Museum. It isn't a conventional sightseeing spot, but it's one you're sure to be impressed by.

Ohyaishi Museum

The Ohyaishi Museumused to be an actual stone quarry, where they mined for the "ohyaishi" or "ohya"stone, which was used to make streets, houses, and Budha statues in the area. There's a humongous cavern, that can fit an entire baseball field inside, 30 meters under the ground. The deepest part of this quarry is 60 meters underground and the average temperature is 13 degrees celsius. It's now used not only as a museum but sometimes as a concert hall or an art gallery. There's also a stone chapel inside, which gives off an air of grandeur.
Business hours: 9:00 - 16:30 (admission until 16:00)
Admission fee: Adults ¥600, Children under 15 ¥300
Access: Take the Kanto bus (bus stop #6) headed for Tateishi from the JR Utsunomiya Station West Exit Bus Terminal, and get off at the Ohyaishi Museum Entrance. It's a 3 min. walk from the bus stop.
Address: 909 Ohyamachi, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0345
Tel: 028-652-1232
Fax: 028-652-0624

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