Hidden temples, historical hot spring waters and views of the Japan Alps
Deep in the heart of rural Yamanashi lies the ancient temple district of Minobu. Visit the area's ancient villages, with historic inns, and hike the fantastic two-day hiking route from Mt. Minobu to Mt. Shichimen with breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji and Japan's Southern Alps .
- The hidden ancient temple district of Minobu
- The village of Akasawa, as beautiful as it is remote
- Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan—serving royalty for over 1,300 years
- The ancient trail from Kuon-ji Temple on Mt. Minobu to Keishinin Temple on Mt. Shichimen
How to Get There
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Shizuoka Station and change to the JR Tokaido Main Line for Fuji Station. From there board the northbound JR Minobu Line for Minobu Station (90 minutes). Alternatively, you can access Minobu from Shinjuku Station in three hours by taking an express train to Kofu Station on the JR Chuo Line. At Kofu, change to the JR Minobu Line for Minobu Station. You can also access Minobu by bus from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal in around three and a half hours.
Climb a staircase into the sky at Minobusan Kuonji Temple
Kuon-ji Temple and its surroundings are a magical escape from the bustle of modern Japanese cities. Minobusan Kuonji's temple gate is one of the largest in Japan, and access to the main temple is by a steep stone staircase.
Akasawa village lost in time deep in the mountains of Yamanashi
It takes time and effort to get to Akasawa, but once there, you will be rewarded with spectacular mountain vistas. Although there used to be over a dozen inns that served pilgrims who walked from Minobusan Kuonji Temple to Keishin Temple, only two are open today.
However, the other inns are lovingly maintained to give this picturesque village its charm. Expect to hear the call of deer as the sun goes down.
Book a room at the oldest hotel in the world
If you choose to stay a night at Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, you will have access to hot spring baths that have soothed the aches and pains of the who's who of Japan's illustrious elite—from Empresses to military commanders.
Take the opportunity to relax in the very place where Japan's most powerful historical figures sought refuge.
The Mt. Minobu to Mt. Shichimen pilgrimage
Following an ancient pilgrimage route, start your hike at the base of Mt. Minobu by walking through the large sanmon gate and climbing the steep 287-step staircase to Minobusan Kuonji Temple. The ascent of Mt. Minobu, which really begins behind the main temple at Kuon-ji, is punctuated by ancient graveyards, temples, and shrines.
The ancient village
After you have reached the summit of the mountain and visited the mountain-top temple, descend to the ancient village of Akasawa .
Mt. Fuji views at Mt. Shichimen
The village, with its inns, green tea fields and dramatic mountain vistas, is an unforgettable delight. Before you ascend Mt. Shichimen , shower under one of the dramatic waterfalls near the entrance to the mountain. Be sure to see the sunrise over Mt. Fuji from the temple gate at the summit of Mt. Shichimen.