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Sights

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Sights(Kofu Area)

Shosen Gorge

The gorge from Nagatoro Bridge to Senga-taki Waterfall is stunning and beautiful all year round.

Autumn-colored leaves in Mitake Shosenkyo Gorge

Mitake Shosenkyo Gorge, nationally designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty, is known as one of the best autumn-color viewing spots. In the gorge, Kakuenbo and many other bizarrely shaped stones with white surfaces contrast favorably with red and yellow leaves, and delight the eyes of visitors. The famous Nagatoro Bridge, a popular gateway to Shosenkyo Gorge, surrounded by autumn leaves, is a truly picturesque landscape. Also, vigorous waterfalls like Senga Waterfall and Otaki Waterfall of Itajiki-keikoku Gorge and autumn leaves make a landscape overwhelmingly beautiful. This beautiful autumn landscape in grand nature is located around 30 minutes from the city area of Kofu, so many tourists visit here. Since Shosenkyo Gorge is very long with a large difference in elevation, we can enjoy the beautiful autum colors for more than one month. ■The best time to see the autumn colors is from mid-October to late November. ■Main kinds of trees: Maple, lacquer tree, sumac, Japanese rowan, and sawtooth oak

Takeda-jinja Shrine

Takeda-jinja Shrine was dedicated to Takeda Shingen, the famous leader of the Kai country, and is located on the place where three generations of Takeda, Nobutora, Shingen, and Katsuyori, actually lived. Many people enjoy strolling, not only in the premises surrounded by cherry trees in full blossom, but also around the shrine and along the cherry tree street from the Kofu Station to the shrine. Chozuya, Sando, Torii, Komainu, Ohori, and other various places offer a luxurious time for cherry-blossom viewing. In this place that carries a hint of its history, step into the treasure house where the sword donated by the Sanjo family, the home of the Singen’s wedded wife, at the time of construction of the shrine is on display along with various legacies donated by related parties of the Takeda family from all over Japan. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is late March to early April.

The sacred tree of the Kanazakura-jinja Shrine, “Ukon-no-sakura”

Kanazakura-jinja Shrine, a shrine worthiping Mt. Kinpu, is located at the top of Shosenkyo Gorge. The sacred tree of the shrine, called “ukon-zakura” has been worshiped as “Kaneno narukino Kanazakura (golden cherry blossoms producing money)” in the old folk song dedicated to the tree. Its gold colored blossoms are in full bloom from late April to early May.

Kai Zenko-ji Temple

This temple was founded when Takeda Shingen, who was fighting the battles of Kawanakajima, feared that Shinano Zenko-ji Temple might be destroyed by fire, and in 1558 moved all the Buddhist treasures and statues including the main deity Zenkoji Nyorai here. The temple’s Sanmon Gate and Main Hall are nationally designated as Important Cultural Properties.

Kofu Castle Ruins

Kofu Castle was built after the destruction of the Takeda Clan at the end of the 16th Century. It once covered a large area of 20 hectares, and today a part of the castle ruins is open to the public as Maizuru Castle Park which is a relaxing place for the citizens. In the park there is a ‘Yamanashi "Home of Mt. Fuji" Information Corner’ which introduces the charms of Yamanashi. There is a special bus and disabled parking area. *Please apply in advance. Contact: Urban Planning Division, Chuhoku Construction Office. Telephone: 055-224-1673

Colored leaves in the “Arts Park”

You may have never heard of the “Arts Park.” The Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art and Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Literature are located in this park. In autumn, colored leaves decorate the park so beautifully. There are a lot of sculptures in the park, and you can enjoy the beauty of the natural scenery, and various human art works, ranging from objects impossible to understanding at a glance to humorous shaped ones, without an entry fee. You see many people enjoy collecting beautiful fallen leaves to make bookmarks and collages. Well, since you've come all the way to Arts Park, then why don’t you go to the museum? After being impressed by the natural works of art, you will be moved by the human art works. On a beautiful day in autumn, have a good time in Arts Park! ■The best time to see the autumn colors is from mid-October to late November. ■Main kinds of trees: Maple, ginkgo, and Japanese zelkova

Kai Terrace Yamanashi Local Industry Center

Yamanashi Local Industry Center (nick-name: Kai Terrace) was established on September 13th, 1985, to promote the local industries and products to the general public and as a tourism facility. It receives an average of 220,000 visitors per year. On the 1st floor, we display and sell crystal jewelry, wine, Japanese sake, foods, and Japanese leather works called Inden, produced in Yamanashi. The restaurant on the 2nd floor is available for mealtimes and parties.

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Archeology

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Archeology opened in November 1982 as a center facility of Kai Fudoki-no-Oka /Sonekyuryo Park. The museum shows messages from the ground through archeological specimens, like clay vessels and stone implements, based on the result of the excavation activities in the Yamanashi prefecture. We can follow the lives of ancestors living in the Yamanashi prefecture up to the modern age, through the stone implements in Old Stone Age tens of thousands of years ago, a number of Jomon wares with gorgeous shapes, articles excavated in the mounded tombs around the museum, tools of people living under the regime called Ritsuryo-kokka in the Nara and the Heian Periods, and roof tiles and daily tools used in the Kofu Castle during the Edo Period. Also, the museum offers various interactive exhibitions such as clay vessel production, fire-making, and historic spot tours. On the west side of the museum, there are many ancient, historically important monuments of Kai-koku, such as mounded tombs like Choshizuka, Maruyamazuka, and Kankanzuka, and Uenodaira square tombs surrounded by ditches, all of which are well maintained for visitors. How about going up to the top of the mounded tomb, and getting the feeling of ancient leaders from there, with a panoramic view of Kofu Basin? Our other recommendations include the replica of a pit house (Tateana Jukyo) excavated at Kaneno-o-iseki, the deep bowl shaped clay vessels (important cultural assets) excavated at Tonobayashi-iseki, which had made an overseas journey, and Jomon soybeans clay vessels (important cultural assets) excavated at Sakenomiba-iseki.

Senga Waterfall

There is a walking route from Tenjin-mori to Sengataki Waterfall. The fault of earth crust created this magnificent 31m high waterfall, and fresh greens, colored leaves, and white snow decorate it in each season. It was selected as one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan.

Crystal Museum

Crystal Museum is located on the street of the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art. We accept guests from anywhere inside and outside the prefecture, and explain cultures through accessories and miscellaneous goods made from natural stones. “Kofu, the city of jewels” once flourished as a producer of crystals, and developed with its excellent grinding and processing technology. The museum displays shining gemstones, and art works made of stones. Enter for treasure hunting and taste the delights of glittering crystals. More crystals than anywhere else in the prefecture gather to create a classical yet modern atmosphere. Around accessories made from natural stones at the center, there is a flood of various goods such as glasses and fancy goods on the table. You can select a favorite stone and make your own original accessory (1000 yen + materials cost). We have free services to find your lucky stone and color through simple Q&A. Our staff have a great store of knowledge and will gently instruct you on how to make a candle with your favorite glass work mounted. The café “Belle Epoque” in the museum holds a piano concert every Sunday. You can relax and have a nice time in the nostalgic and classical room surrounded by warm wooden furniture and lamplight, and sound of music boxes. Please enjoy a relaxing tea time here.

Museum of Shadowgraph in Shosenkyo

The museum, organized and designed by the world-famous shadowgraph artist, Fujishiro Seiji, a representative of Japan, was established in Shosenkyo Gorge in 1992. The museum is the world's first shadowgraph museum, as recorded in the Guinness Book in 1994. Go to the shadowgraph exhibition room on the basement floor. You will be surprised because the room is dark, but in the next moment, gentle light with beautiful colors appears in the darkness. Tiny fairies and animals shown in silhouette dance and sing happily in the light. The fantastic and splendid images with light and shadow make visitors feel warm inside. There are also regular exhibitions of more than 30 art works of Yamashita Kiyoshi, so called “the Japanese van Gogh,” and 25 art works of the Taisho Period artistic genius, “Takehisa Yumeji.” Although Yamashita Kiyoshi is famous for his paper-mosaic works, his pen drawings in this museum are also impressive. You will be surprised with his technique in expressing shading and shadows of objects with only fine dots and lines. The works of Takehisa Yumeji, portraits of slender and big-eyed women, still attract modern people with their sentimental and delicate atmosphere. In addition, there are special exhibitions of various art works planned every year. We hope you enjoy them too.

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art

Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art opened in 1978, and since then has come to be fondly known as a “museum of Millet.” It stands in the large Arts Park, which is rich in greenery. In the park, there are sculptures by Rodin, Henry Moore, Bourdelle, Zadkine, Maillol, and others, and the park displays its beauty throughout the seasons. The exhibition rooms contain a variety of splendid works by artists from Japan and overseas, including the Millet’s famous panting, “The Sower,” and works by other artists of the Barbizon School, such as Theodore Rousseau and Daubigny. There are also works by Turner, Corot, Courbet, Chagall, Fujita Tsuguharu, Umehara Ryuzaburo, Fukuzawa Ichiro, and Kakurai Kazuo. We are actively offering various workshops, concerts, art lectures, a project for visually impaired people called “See the Millet paint with your hands,” lease of the Yamanashi residents gallery to art lovers, and other variety of museum education promotion projects, and are waiting for you.

Shingen Levee

Shingen Levee located in Kai City (former Ryuo-cho) of Yamanashi Prefecture, was built by Takeda Shingen (Harunobu), the provincial constable and warring lord of Kai during the Warring States Period. This historical Shingen Levee is surrounded by many Someiyoshino cherry trees. In spring, the whole area of Shingen Levee is covered with full-blown pink blossoms. You can enjoy the sight of beautiful cherry blossoms lit up by night. Every year, on April 15, “Omiyuki Matsuri,” the festival to pray for safety of the levee, is held and many people visit here. Scenery of Mt Fuji, Yatsugatake, Kayagatake, and Minami-Alps from Shingen Levee is so splendid all year round. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is from late March to early April.

Yamanashi Prefectural Science Center

Yamanashi Prefectural Science Center is located near the peak of Mt. Atagoyama, where the entire Kofu Basin is in full view. Since it is located in the park grounds of "Atagoyama Kid Land," if you take one step outside, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful nature where you can enjoy various athletic courses and walking paths. If the weather is good, it is an ideal spot where you can see Mt. Fuji right in front of your eyes and gaze down at the Kofu Basin from the terrace. Inside the center you will find a number of facilities that make learning science fun, such as the “Exhibit room,” with numerous hands-on experience attractions lined up like a maze, the “Space Theater,” a cutting-edge, next generation planetarium, the “Experiments and Crafts Room,” where you can conduct scientific experiments and try your hand at various crafts, the “Play Room” for young children, and the “Astronomy Room,” where visitors can observe the sun and where stargazing events are held. Additionally, there are many science-related souvenirs, such as the various original Science Center products available in “Museum Shop.” The “Restaurant Science Shop” is also accessible without paying an entry fee. The Science Center also conducts events, and there is a wonderful performance at the planetarium that even adults can enjoy! Come in and go on an adventure at the Science Center that everyone in the family can enjoy!

Takeda Health Forest

The best time to visit is from late October to mid-November. Main kinds of trees: maple, azalea, Sawtooth oak and oak.