Utsunomiya (Fs{) is the capital of Tochigi and the largest city in the prefecture, located less than an hour north of Tokyo by shinkansen and just southeast of the famous shrines and temples of Nikko. A modern-day commercial center, the area has roots in the mining industry, and the local Oya stone has been quarried over the centuries to be used as building material.

Utsunomiya is probably best known for its gyoza, small meat and vegetable dumplings served pan-fried, deep fried or boiled. The city is home to dozens of restaurants specializing in the dish, which come filled with a whole host of ingredients including pork, kimchi, seafood and other fillings. Utsunomiya regularly ranks among the cities with the highest annual household consumption of the dumplings, a title it tends to trade back and forth with rivals Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture and Miyazaki City.

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