In the Edo period Tochigi was a rich commercial city. People used the Uzuma Canal that flows through the city center to go to Edo (as Tokyo was known at the time). Envoys using the Reiheishi Way sent from the Imperial Court going to the shrines and temples of Nikko stayed at the lodging area in the city.
Because the city escaped war damage during WWII, many historical temples, traditional shops and Kura (Japanese traditional storehouses) remain in the city center. The city was awarded the "Utsukushii-machinami Taisho" prize from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2009. See "Tochigi, Tochigi". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-11-07.