Japan has many great areas to visit on its main island of Honshu. There are so many areas of great natural beauty that contrast with the urban city sights. These areas also house much of the country’s history as well as its great cultural foods and traditions. One such area is Yamanashi prefecture.
Yamanashi is a prefecture in the Chubu region of the main island of Japan. It is landlocked and surrounded by mountains, and it contains the tallest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji. The capital city of Yamanashi is Kofu. It was a major area during the Sengoku era and housed some famous families such as the Takeda. It is a wide area that is home to a large amount of agriculture that feeds much of Japan. There are wineries, farming, and campsites. It is one of Japan’s most bountiful areas and is a great place to visit for nature lovers.
There are many places to see in Yamanashi, but these are a few of the most notable areas to visit.
Mt. Fuji is one of the most well-known volcanos in the world. It is the tallest part of Japan and stands at 3,776 m. It is a world heritage site and can be seen from many different prefectures in Japan. People from all over the world go there to climb to the peak and enjoy the wondrous view. It is open during the summer months while the temperatures are at decent levels for people to climb. The Fuji diamond is also a sight to see and is a sought-after picture for professional and amateur photographers alike. They have guided tours that can take you from major cities and reserve your lodgings, too. It is a must-see for anyone who goes to Japan.
Fuji Five Lakes
The Fuji Five Lakes are popular tourist spots, and each lake offers its own beauty and activities to enjoy. The lakes were formed from the run-off of the melted ice from the mountain, and the people have turned them into thriving getaway spots. Many people have summer homes on the lakesides, while other areas have gained popularity through building a theme park. You can experience traditional festivals.
This is one of the most popular theme parks in all of Japan. It has a large number of roller coasters on the park grounds and is located close to Mt. Fuji. The Fuji Five Lakes are nearby and there are other smaller mountains and tours to take.
This historic temple is nestled on Mt. Minobu. It is a training area for monks and is used for many local festivals. The temple is open to the public and there is even a hotel on the grounds. The mountain roads up to the temple have shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. You may even see the monks in training doing their daily mantras.
The area has many volcanic spots and thus has a large number of onsen. Japanese onsen are traditional bathing places that most Japanese use to relax and enjoy spa treatments. It is easy to find open-air baths there as well.
Just like other places in Japan, Yamanashi has its special festivals. There are some that you can’t find anywhere else in Japan and that are known around the world.
Shingen Ko Festival
This festival is held on the first weekend of April and goes on for three days. It is the largest gathering of samurai in the world. On average, over 1500 people dress in samurai armor and march through the streets of Kofu. If you want, you can try to join in as anyone is welcome to. You will need to pay a fee and register ahead of time to have a chance.
Fujiyoshida Fire festival
This festival is held in the city of Fujiyoshida on August 26th and 27th. The streets are lined with vendors selling souvenirs and food. The highlight of the festivals is the bonfires that are set up throughout the town being lit as the sun goes down. They hold a ritual at each sight and people can get charcoal from the remains of the fires. It is a fun festival to enjoy traditional Japan.
Paul Rusch Festival
The story of Paul Rusch is taught in schools throughout Japan and he is well known in Yamanashi. He was an American that lived in Japan and taught them how to play American football. It is held every year in October in Hokuto City. The festival celebrates his many contributions to Japan and is full of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
There are many wineries, forests, and parks for people to visit as well. It is easy to find places that any nature lover would enjoy. There is even a large amount of camping places in most rural areas. It is the best place to go when you want to get away from big city living.