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A Day in Yamanashi

The day begins at dawn on the banks of one of the Fuji Five Lakes. At the base of Mount Fuji, the Fuji Five lakes—Kawaguchi, Motosu, Sai, Shoji and Yamanaka—each have something to offer. Lake Motosu has the iconic view from the back of the 1000 yen banknote and Kawaguchi is probably the easiest to get around, but Lake Sai and Lake Shoji are renowned for their sunrise views. Leave from Tokyo early enough in the morning and you can hit the lake by sunrise, but there’s nothing like rolling out of a tent to catch the first rays hitting the water. (Both Saiko Jiyu Camping Ground or Tsuhara Camp have great views out onto Lake Sai.)

A Day in Yamanashi
  • A Day in Yamanashi

    A Day in Yamanashi

    After catching a sunrise, getting out into nature is a must. Yamanashi has some of the prettiest countryside in the nation. You could take a trek into Aokigahara, Shosenkyo, or the Nishizawa Ravine, or scour the internet and guidebooks for the perfect, obscure trail, but for a near perfect balance of Yamanashi’s quintessential elements, take the trail up Ryugatake. Head there soon after sunrise, find the trailhead around Lake Motosu’s Motosuko Camping Ground and get on the trail. It takes about five to six hours to complete the trail loop. Near the highest point of the trail, there are great views of Lake Motosu and the Sea of Trees at Aokigahara.

    Lake Saiko Jiyu Campground
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Minamitsurugunfujikawaguchikomachi Saiko 1003-2
    Phone
    0555822857
    西湖津原キャンプ場
    Address
    山梨県南都留郡富士河口湖町西湖2299
    Phone
    0555-82-2234
    Motosuko Camping Ground
    Address
    Yamanashi Minamitsuru Fujikawaguchikomachi Motosu 18
    Phone
    0555872306
    A Day in Yamanashi

    A Day in Yamanashi

    Sanrokuen is set in an farmhouse just south of Lake Kawaguchi, and courses of beef and duck, vegetables, mushrooms and lake trout are grilled over traditional hearths. The meal concludes with a hearty, typically Yamanashi final course: hoto nabe, flat noodles simmered in a vegetable and miso broth. Sanrokuen is a truly unique experience and there’s no better way to refuel after a hike up Ryugatake.

    Sanrokuen
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Minamitsurugunfujikawaguchikomachi Funatsu 3370-1
    Phone
    0555731000
    竜ヶ岳
    Address
    山梨県南都留郡富士河口湖町本栖竜ヶ岳
    Phone
    0555723168
    A Day in Yamanashi

    A Day in Yamanashi

    After filling up at Sanrokuen, it’s time to hit the trails in Japan’s wine country. It was in Yamanashi that the first wineries were opened and local grapes were hybridized with foreign imports. Secure a designated driver or hop aboard one of the many tours, and experience what local oenophiles have long known: Yamanashi produces some of the best wine in the world. Katsunuma Winery is classy and fun to wander around, Kurambon, located in an old sericulture warehouse, has the best atmosphere, while Sadoya and Mars are basically viniculture theme parks—make time to discover a few, sit down for a meal in one of the winery restaurants and pick up a bottle or a case to take home.

    Katsunuma Winery
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Koushushi Katsunumachoushimoiwasaki 371
    Phone
    0553440069
  • Kuramubon wine
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Koushushi Katsunumachoushimoiwasaki 835
    Phone
    0553440111
    Sadoya
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Koufushi Kitaguchi 3-3-24
    Phone
    0552513671
    Hombo Shuzo Marusu Yamanashi Winery
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Fuefukishi Isawachouyamasaki 126
    Phone
    0552621441
    A Day in Yamanashi

    A Day in Yamanashi

    Kobuchizawa Art Village's most notable attraction is the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection, but the complex is now home to an upscale spa, the Yatsugatake Lodge Atelier, Restaurant Steakhouse Keyspring serving local Koshu beef, as well as the Hotel Keyforest Hokuto. The boutique hotel was once the private residence of Nakamura Kazuo, the collector and pharma tycoon behind the Keith Haring Collection; designed by Atsushi Kitagawara, the hotel is truly a gem, even in an area with no shortage of upscale onsen and hotels. This is the perfect place to end a day in Yamanashi.

    小淵沢アートヴィレッジリゾートアンドスパ
    Address
    山梨県北杜市小淵沢町10060-341
    Phone
    0551-36-5272
  • Nakamura Keith Haring Collection
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Hokutoshi Kobuchisawachou 10249-7
    Phone
    0551368712
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