Jul 1, 2016
With an abundance of greenery — up to 78 percent of Yamanashi is covered in forests — this prefecture is verdant with life. The profusion of sunshine and fresh water contribute to the fine quality of produce from this region. From fruit to wine, vegetables to flowers, Yamanashi is one of the top prefectures in Japan when it comes to agricultural productivity. Fruits make up more than half of the prefecture’s gross agricultural production, and Yamanashi is the number one producer of grapes, peaches, and plums in Japan.
For visitors who love the great outdoors, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor activities. Yamanashi is surrounded by mountains – to the northeast is the Chichibu Mountain Range; to the west is Akaishi Mountains, and in the north are the bases of Mount Yatsugatake and Mount Kayagatake. Of course, the most famous of them all is Mt Fuji in the south, standing tall at 3,776 meters. A popular trek for adventure-seekers would be the Yoshida Trail, which lies along the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (or roughly the halfway point of Mt Fuji). From there, you can stock up on supplies such as hiking sticks, snacks, bottles of water, and oxygen before heading for the summit.
For something a little less high-octane, why not opt for a spot of shopping? Yamanashi offers a variety of beautiful handmade crafts that you will definitely want to take home with you. Inden is arguably the most popular of these crafts, and is a style of leatherwork that has been admired since the end of the Edo era (1603-1868). Other popular styles of crafts from Yamanashi include the production of washi (Japanese paper) and kaiki (traditional weaving of silk textiles).
Of course, no visit to Japan is complete without indulging in its sumptuous cuisine. Every prefecture in Japan has its own specialties, and Yamanashi is no different. In the following pages, you’ll find out more about (and have your appetite whetted by) local delights such as Hoto, Yoshida Udon, and wine beef.