Yamanashi: Kofu

Yamanashi: Kofu

Despite being close enough to the Tokyo metropolitan area to make it a day trip, Yamanashi Prefecture has extensive natural areas. The leisure facilities bustle with sightseers all year round, offering them views of Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest mountain, and opportunities to enjoy nature. Known as the "Land of Fruit," Yamanashi produces peaches, grapes, cherries and more from spring through fall, and doing a U-pick is highly recommended.

At the core of Yamanashi Prefecture is Kofu, a historical town that thrived as the headquarters of the Warring States era shogun Takeda Shingen. Many shrines and temples associated with him remain standing to this day.

Recommended Sights

Shosenkyo Gorge
Kakuen Summit (Kakuenbo)Kakuen Summit (Kakuenbo)

One of Yamanashi's most famous sightseeing locations, Shosenkyo Gorge is designated as a special place of scenic beauty in Chichibu Tama Kai National Park. Formed of unusual rock formations of granite eroded by the mountain stream, the beautiful valley is considered to be one of Japan's most spectacular sceneries. An aerial tram that climbs from Isawa to Shosenkyo Gorge is available for those wanting to get out and explore. Ride the tram and enjoy a stroll 1,058 meters above the sea.
(Approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes from Shinjuku Station by the limited express Asuza. Take the Shosenkyo Gorge-bound bus from the number 3 loading zone at the Kofu Station south bus terminal.)

Isawa-onsen Hot Spring
Isawa View Hotel – outdoor hot springIsawa View Hotel – outdoor hot spring

Located not far from the Tokyo metropolitan region and boasting the largest spa facilities in Yamanashi Prefecture, Isawa is one of the most prominent hot spring areas in Japan. The water produced in Isawa is alkaline fresh water, and has restorative effects for neuralgia, bruises, chronic digestive disorders and poor circulation that results in cold extremities. As a hot spring town, Isawa was selected number three in the top 100 Modern Sightseeing Locations in Japan, and is a favorite among tourists who visit Yamanashi.
(Approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Line to Isawa-onsen Station)

U-pick Fruit
U-pick FruitU-pick Fruit

Known as the "Land of Fruit," Yamanashi Prefecture has many fruit orchards where visitors can pick the season's offerings year-round, including grapes, cherries, strawberries and peaches. Different facilities offer different fruit selections.

Mt. Fuji
Mt. FujiMt. Fuji

At 3,776 meters high, Mt. Fuji, which has been named a World Heritage site, is the highest peak in Japan and its beauty is symbolic of Japan. Through the four seasons, visitors can enjoy the different expressions of Mt. Fuji, and in summer, climbing can be enjoyed in addition to gazing at the mountain's beauty.
(Approximately 1 hour, 40 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station on the JR Chuo Main Line. Transfer to the Fuji Kyuko Line and ride to Kawaguchiko Station, approximately 50 minutes.)

Yamanashi: Kofu at a Glance
Yamanashi: Kofu – LocationYamanashi: Kofu – Access
  • Days needed: 1-2
  • Approximately 1 hour, 35 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Isawa-onsen Station on the limited express "Kaiji."
Ekiben – a bento lunch sold at train stations

Yama-no-gohan

Main sales location: Kofu Station

The perfect bento for hiking or mountain climbing. Coming in a bamboo bento box, Yama-no-gohan is filled with lots of mountain vegetables and rice balls in three flavors – ume (pickled plum), steamed chestnut and walnut miso. Other flavors recalling mountain village life include broiled salted trout, chicken meatballs, candied sweet potatoes and fuki boiled in soy sauce.

Furin Kazan

Main sales location: Kofu Station

"Furin Kazan" was the motto emblazoned on the Takeda Shingen's battle standard. Borrowed from "The Art of War," it is made of the four characters wind, forest, fire and mountain, and means as a whole "as fast as the wind, as silent as a forest, as ferocious as fire and as immovable as a mountain." This bento recalls to mind this slogan. Rice preparations are arrayed in the four corners of the bento, with special foods from the Koshu area placed over the Takeda family crest. The bento box is uniquely designed with the crest to represent Kai, a former province whose capital was Kofu.

Surrounding Destinations

As of April 2014.