A natural basin close to Mt Fuji and easily accessible from Tokyo, the Kofu area is blessed with orchards and vineyards. Its Yamanashi peaches and cherries are famous throughout Japan. The city has castle ruins for exploring and hot springs for relaxing.
Kofu is located in Central Yamanashi. There is easy rail access from Shinjuku Station to Kofu Station.
Take an express train from Shinjuku Station to Kofu Station on the JR Chuo Line. The journey takes about 90 minutes. Highway buses from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal reach Kofu in just over two hours.
Held in early April, the Shingen-Ko Festival is thrilling to watch, as over a thousand men and women parade through the streets of central Kofu in period costumes. Named for warlord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), the parade starts from Kofu Station to re-enact events from the Warring States period of the 15th and 16th centuries. As part of the spectacle, dozens of warriors ride horses along the route well into the evening. The Kofu Castle ruins are a great spot to take striking photographs of the event.
When it comes to hot springs, Kofu offers an abundance of pleasant options. Yumura Onsen to the west and Isawa Onsen to the east offer many different bathing experiences. Isawa Onsen Kagetsu is one of the most luxurious traditional inns in the area, with around 8,000 carp in the ornamental ponds of its extensive traditional gardens.
Mitama no Yu in the mountains to the south of Kofu is famous for its outdoor baths and night views.
Fruits Onsen Pukupuku to the east offers lovely night views from its fruit and flower-infused baths.
There are many wineries open to the public around the Kofu Basin area, where wine has been produced for around 150 years. The first grapes arrived in the area via the Silk Road in the sixth century. Nowadays the Koshu grape variety is the most common, which is said to pair well with Japanese cuisine.
The Koshu and Fuefuki areas have most of the wineries. With its magnificent views of Mt. Fuji, Suntory Tominooka Winery is a beautiful location for sampling the local wines.
The Kofu Basin is renowned for its year-round fruit production, including peaches, grapes, persimmons, cherries, plums, pears, apples, kiwi fruits and strawberries. Many farms provide the chance to pick and eat your own fruit. To get a view of the abundant blossoms, the orchards around Kofu burst into color every spring. The view of a snow-capped Mt. Fuji framed by peach blossoms at one of Misaka Town's peach orchards is truly unforgettable.