Recommended Isawa sightseeing itinerary

In one of the best hot spring towns in Japan, enjoy the naturally sweet fruit from Yamanashi

Located near the center of the Kofu Basin of Yamanashi Prefecture, the Isawa area is a tourist destination well-known in Yamanashi as well as throughout Japan for its hot springs. In addition to hot springs, Isawa is blessed with local natural special products such as peaches and grapes, and visitors can enjoy U-picking the fruit themselves.

Itinerary Maps

Itinerary Maps

Trip Details

Day 1 – Time needed: approximately 6 hours, including approximately 4 hours, 30 minutes for sightseeing and meals

Isawa-onsen
Station

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 15 minutes

Miharashien

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 20 minutes

Activities

1Miharashien

Miharashien produces strawberries in spring, peaches in summer and grapes and apples in fall, a variety of fruit that visitors can enjoy U-picking. In addition to picking fruit, in early spring, peach-blossom viewing from an observatory overlooking the Kofu Basin overflowing with peach blossoms in early spring is a fun experience. Chinese and English interpreters are available.

Hours of operation

  • 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last entry at 4:00 p.m.)

Closed

  • From December 26 to January 7

Charge for all-you-can-eat peaches, 40 minutes

  • Adults – 1,350 yen (different charges apply for other types of fruit)

Address

  • 240 Tsuchizuka, Ichinomiya-cho, Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

Miharasien (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 90 minutes

Ripe peaches in the orchard
Ripe peaches in the orchard

Visitors enjoy U-picking grapes
Visitors enjoy U-picking grapes

The earliest
peach-blossom
viewing in Japan

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 20 minutes

SightseeingActivities

2The earliest peach-blossom viewing in Japan

House Momo-en ("peach garden") in Fuefuki is open for peach-blossom viewing from mid-February to mid-March, the earliest peach-blossom viewing in Japan. The temperature inside the plastic-covered greenhouses is held at 25 degrees Celsius, so even in mid-winter, the warmth inside makes it feel like spring. Why not bring a bento and enjoy the blossom-viewing before anywhere else in Japan?

Viewing period

  • Mid-February to mid-March

Hours of operation

  • 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Charge

  • 500 yen, all-day viewing (includes juice)
  • Children through elementary school are admitted free

Address

  • 265 Higashi Takahashi, Isawa-cho, Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

City of Fuefuki (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 150 minutes

The earliest peach-blossom viewing in Japan
The earliest peach-blossom viewing in Japan


Isawa Hot Spring
Isawa View Hotel

Lodging

3Isawa View Hotel

At this hotel, enjoy the outdoor hot spring next to a beautiful Japanese garden that reflects the seasons, and cuisine created by a chef who selects seasonal Yamanashi ingredients with a critical eye. After dinner, lodgers can enjoy a show in the first floor lobby put on by a performance troupe with exquisite style in the Chinese tradition. The show is performed six days a week (the day off is not fixed).

Address

  • 1607 Kawanaka-jima, Isawa-cho, Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

Isawa View Hotel

Isawa View Hotel
Isawa View Hotel

A sampling of the cuisine
A sampling of the cuisine

Spring Events SightseeingActivities

7Fuefuki City Peach Blossom Festival

From the beginning to the middle of April, Fuefuki breaks out in spring as approximately 300,000 peach trees come into blossom. Starting April 1, every region of the city holds events as part of the Fuefuki City Peach Blossom Festival, including nighttime illumination of the trees and hot air balloons provide daytime tours for a bird's-eye view of the blossoming trees. One of the highlights of the festival is a re-enactment of the duel between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin as portrayed in the "Scroll of the Warring States Period Battle at Kawanaka-jima" at the riverside of the Fuefuki River.

Festival period

  • April 1 to mid-April

Getting there

  • Approximately 15 minutes (depending on the festival event location) on foot from Isawa-onsen Station

Related websites

City of Fuefuki (in Japanese only)

“Scroll  of the Warring States Period Batle at Kawanaka-jima,” a reenactment
"Scroll of the Warring States Period Batle at Kawanaka-jima," a reenactment

Summer Events SightseeingActivities

5Fuefuki River Isawa Ukai

Cormorant fishing is a traditional method of using a cormorant to catch sweetfish (ayu) or other fish varieties. Cormorant fishing at the Fuefuki River has a history extending back more than 800 years, and involves a unique technique where the kachiu, or cormorant fisherman, wades into the river where he controls his bird. Cormorant fishing takes place from mid-July to mid-August each year. Visitors can observe from the riverbanks or attend a hands-on session (for a fee) with a cormorant fisherman, limited to two people per day (first come, first serve).

Fishing period

  • Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., mid-July to mid-August
  • Cormorant fishing experience – starting at 8:00 p.m.
  • Cormorant fishing may be canceled due to inclement weather or excessive river water volume.

Cormorant fishing experience charge

  • 3,000 yen per person, payable same day (includes a specially designed cormorant t-shirt)

Location

  • At the side of the Fuefuki River, next to Fuefuki City Hall

Getting there

  • Approximately 20 minutes on foot from Isawa-onsen Station

Related websites

City of Fuefuki (in Japanese only)

Fuefuki River Isawa Ukai
Fuefuki River Isawa Ukai

U-pick Fruit Calendar

Strawberries Late December to mid-May
Cherries Late May to mid-June
Blueberries Early July to mid-August
Plums Late June to mid-July
Peaches Early July to mid-September
Grapes Late July to late November
Western pears Mid-September to late October

U-pick Fruit
U-pick Fruit


Day 2 – Time needed: approximately 6 hours, including approximately 4 hours, 30 minutes for sightseeing and meals

Isawa Hot Spring
Isawa View Hotel

Strolling Around
Isawa Hot Spring
and Fuefuki River

On foot

Approximately 20 minutes on foot from the Fuefuki River

SightseeingActivities

6Strolling Around Isawa Hot Spring and Fuefuki River

Since hot water first welled out of the ground in 1961, Isawa has flourished, becoming the largest hot spring village in Yamanashi Prefecture and covering the banks of the Fuefuki River. Surrounded by beautiful orchards, Isawa has many well-known locations and sightseeing facilities. To enjoy the natural beauty of the area, a stroll along the Fuefuki River, which flows through the center of Fuefuki city, is recommended. Fuefuki's scenery is particularly beautiful in spring when the cherry blossom and peach trees proudly come into bloom, a sight that is uniquely Japanese.

Time needed: approximately 30 minutes

A row of cherry blossom trees in full bloom in front of Fuefuki City Hall
A row of cherry blossom trees in full bloom in front of Fuefuki City Hall

Kikyouya Main
Factory/Sweets
Museum

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 5 minutes

Shopping

7Kikyouya Main Factory/Sweets Museum

Kikyouya Shingen Mochi (rice cakes) are a standard gift from Yamanashi Prefecture. Visitors can take a tour of the Kikyouya plant (reservations not required), a rare chance to learn about this traditional shop. Also located on the Kikyouya company grounds is a confection art museum, where artisan confections have been collected that incorporate fine ingredients to reproduce Japanese flowers of the four seasons. The museum offers an opportunity to see the fine work of Japanese artisans up close.

Hours of operation

  • Confection museum – 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Factory tour times

  • 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., 12:40, 1:40, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Open 365 days a year

Admission

  • Free of charge

Address

  • 1928 Tsuboi, Ichinomiya-cho, Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

Kikyouya (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 60 minutes

Various assortments of Kikyou Shingen Mochi
Various assortments of Kikyou Shingen Mochi

A Kikyou Shingen Mochi
A Kikyou Shingen Mochi


Isawa-onsen
Station

Trunk Lines

Train – approximately 20 minutes (JR Chuo Line)

Katsunuma-
budokyo
Station

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 20 minutes

  

L'Orient Wine –
Shirayuri Winery

Taxi

Taxi – approximately 10 minutes

SightseeingActivities

8L'Orient Wine Shirayuri Winery

Since its founding in 1938, Shirayuri has been a family-owned winery. Katsunuma of Yamanashi Prefecture has the ideal weather and soil conditions for viticulture, and Shirayuri Winery handles every step of wine production from cultivation to brewing. All year-round, take a factory tour where the guide takes you on a detailed look at the stages of production, from the vineyards to the fermentation tanks, or enjoy wine tasting. In addition, take part in one of the hands-on experiences they have available, such as making your own wine label, bottling freshly produced wine or stomping on grapes (reservations required).

Hours of operation

  • 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hours of operation are sometimes shortened on weekends.
  • If you wish to arrive after hours, please let them know.

Open 365 days a year (may be closed for special occasions such as the year end and New Year)

Charge

  • Factory tour, wine tasting – free (some exceptions apply)
  • Bottling, label-making – 1,750 yen
  • Grape stomping – 650 yen

Address

  • 878-2 Todoroki, Katsunuma-cho, Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

L'Orient Wine Shirayuri Winery (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 60 minutes

L'Orient Wine Shirayuri Winery
L'Orient Wine Shirayuri Winery

The wine cellar
The wine cellar

Get out and explore Sightseeing

7Shosenkyo Gorge

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.

Getting there

  • Approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes from Shinjuku Station on the limited express Asuza. Take the Shosenkyo Gorge-bound bus from the number 3 loading zone at the Kofu Station south bus terminal.

Related websites

Shosenkyo Gorge (in Japanese only)

Looking up at Kakuen summit
Looking up at Kakuen summit (Kakuenbo)

The view from Mt. Rakanji
The view from Mt. Rakanji

Koshu-shi
Katsunuma
Budo-no-Oka

On foot

Approximately 15 minutes on foot

SightseeingActivitiesDining

9Koshu-shi Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka

Budo-no-Oka is a complex constructed on a low hill overlooking a vast vineyard. The underground wine cellar holds approximately 180 brands of wine available for tasting and purchase. In the restaurant as well, diners can select a wine they like to enjoy with their meal. Including the Budo-no-Oka Museum, the grounds include a variety of facilities that can be enjoyed at leisure.

Hours of operation

  • Varies depending on the facility

Closed

  • Not set

Address

  • 5093 Hishiyama, Katsunuma-cho, Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture

Related websites

Koshu-shi Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka (in Japanese only)

Time needed: approximately 120 minutes

The wine cellar
The wine cellar


Katsunuma-
budokyo
Station

As of June 2014.
Prices, business hours, transportation and other details are subject to change.

Trunk line

Trunk line

Taxi

Taxi

On foot

On foot

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