wisteria in Ashikaga park

Tokyo day trips: spring flower landscapes

Spring is a season of new beginnings, new life and good weather. The cherry blossoms in Japan don't last long, but they create a wave of excitement that we can ride all the way...

Fuji Five Lakes in Autumn: Stunning Colors of Japan’s Foliage (Part 1)

Mt. Fuji puts on a new look every season. Fall is a great time to visit the Fuji Five Lakes (Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Shojiko and Motosuko) because you get to observe the Japanese custom...

Fuji Five Lakes in Autumn: Stunning Colors of Japan’s Foliage (Part 2)

Mt. Fuji puts on a new look every season. Fall is a great time to visit the Fuji Five Lakes (Yamanakako, Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Shojiko and Motosuko) because you get to observe the Japanese custom...

Matsumoto Castle: One of the best preserved castles

  You can’t leave Nagano without visiting Matsumoto Castle! This black and white, six-story castle is a magnificent site with the Japanese Alps in the background. Being one of the oldest castles in Japan–built in...

Koshu Yume Kouji: Perfect gift shopping destination

  Just a quick walk from the Kofu station is a reproduction of the jokamachi (castle town) from the Meiji (1868–1912), Taisho (1912-1926) and the beginning of Showa period (1926). While you may think that...

Takeda Shingen: Based in the Mountainous Fortress

  Located in front of the Kofu train station, you can’t miss the magnificent warrior statue! As though overlooking the well-being of the Kofu City, he seemed to be like a fatherly figure for locals....

Lumiere Winery WITH Restaurant Zelkova: Established in 1885

While in the land of grapes, you have to pay a visit to Lumiere, a family-owned winery established in 1885. Not only do they provide English tours of their vineyard and facilities, but you...

Fuefuki city: The Fruit Kingdom

With the ocean breeze blocked by the mountains, Yamanashi Prefecture is blessed with more sunny days. Combined with rich soil and abundance of clean water, the prefecture is known for its delicious produce. Among the...

Shosenkyo Gorge: Complete immersion with nature

Just outside Kofu City is the Shosenkyo Gorge, which is said to be the most beautiful gorge in Japan. As you walk along the hiking pathway (built during the Edo Period), you can’t help...

The Holy Waters of Oshino Hakkai

Before the pilgrimage, many would stop to wash themselves in water sources fed from Mt. Fuji. One such spot was Oshino Hakkai Spring, where there are eight ponds fed by the snow melted from...