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Mountainous and relatively sparsely populated, the easternmost part of Yamanashi offers a wealth of discoveries for the outdoorsy traveler. Hikers will enjoy the well-developed network of trails around peaks such as Mt. Daibosatsu and Mt. Iwadono, where treks can be combined with activities such as fishing, camping, and hot-spring bathing.

The city of Otsuki is noted for the Saruhashi (“monkey bridge”), one of the most peculiar bridges in Japan. This elegant arch bridge is associated with several legends featuring local monkeys, which still roam the woods nearby.

Unmissable for train buffs is the Maglev Exhibition Center, where visitors can study up on the technology behind next-generation magnetic levitation trains, set to begin operating along the new Linear Chuo Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Nagoya in the late 2020s. The Center includes an observation room overlooking a test track on which the Maglev trains zoom by at speeds up to 600km/h.

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    Tahara Falls

    Located on the Katsura River, the scenic Tahara Falls is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in the city of Tsuru. It is associated with the famous itinerant haiku poet Matsuo Basho.

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    Tsuru Alps

    Stretching along the eastern side of the city of Tsuru are around 8 kilometers of hills and mountains, of elevations varying between 500 and 650 meters. In 2017, a local hiking club in the city finished creating a series of clearly marked hiking trails across the hills, and named them the Tsuru Alps.

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    Mount Iwadono

    At 634 meters high, Mount Iwadono is the same height as the Tokyo Skytree. Its northern and southern sides consist of precipitous cliffs. The hike to the summit is reasonably short, with the occasional steep section, and on clear days offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji along the way and at the top.

  • Saka manju are steamed buns typically made with cooked rice and sakadane, the yeast mash leftover from sake brewing. Uenohara is home to around a dozen shops specializing in saka manju.

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    Matosama

    This distinctive rock feature in the Murokubo River is nicknamed matosama, roughly “the venerable target.” The rock is enshrined and worshiped as a deity of water, and stroking it is said to bring about heavy rains.

  • The Doshi area’s roadside rest and shopping area offers the visitor beautiful river views, accessible restrooms, 200 parking spaces, and much more. Delicious discoveries await at the shop in the main building, which sells freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, as well as local liquor, local honey, ready-to-eat condiments, and all manner of souvenirs.

  • Spanning the gorge of the Katsura River in the city of Otsuki, Saruhashi (“monkey bridge”) is one of the most peculiar bridges in Japan. The elegant arch bridge is perhaps the best-known example of the hanebashi style, in which a bridge is supported by a series of cantilever beams set in the opposing cliff faces.

  • The Hoshino estate, located in what was once the post town of Shimo-Hanasaki, was constructed between 1849 and 1851. Several of the buildings, including the main house, rice storehouse, miso storehouse, and library storehouse, are designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

  • The 2,057-meter Mount Daibosatsu is located in Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, a vast nature preserve on the border between Yamanashi, Nagano, Saitama, and Tokyo. The mountain is one of the “100 Famous Mountains” of Japan and is known for its untouched natural beauty.

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    Doshi Valley

    The peaceful mountain village of Doshi in eastern Yamanashi is set amidst a lush, verdant valley around 28 kilometers long. Doshi has the distinction of having the highest density of campsites in a single area in all of Japan, and is a popular destination for nature-lovers.

  • Nestled in the northeastern mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, the tiny village of Tabayama plays an outsized role in the lives of Tokyoites. The village is home to the Tamba River, which empties into Lake Okutamako and flows onward to the Tama River, one of the capital’s most important sources of water.

  • The Tokaichiba and Natsugari Springs are a collection of springs originating from Mount Fuji. When snow or rain falls on the slopes of the mountain, the water is filtered through many layers of volcanic ash and pebbles  before eventually resurfacing in these springs.

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    Kosuge Village

    Located deep in the mountains of northeastern Yamanashi, on the western border of Greater Tokyo, the village of Kosuge is swathed in verdant forest. The village’s lush natural environs are ideal for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and hiking.

  • Surrounded by lush forests and craggy mountains, the village of Tabayama is also blessed with fantastic hot spring waters. The bright and modern Nomekoi-yu bathhouse is a relatively recent addition to the townscape.

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    Taba Gorge

    Taba Gorge runs from the village of Tabayama to the Yanagisawa Pass on the northern side of the Daibosatsu Ridge. As the surrounding mountains are covered in lush deciduous forests, the valley is ideal for watching the seasons change.

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    Taro Jiro Falls

    Nestled in a lush valley, the twin waterfalls of Taro and Jiro are fed by the Tokaichiba and Natsugari springs, the water of which originates from Mount Fuji some 30 kilometers away. The two falls are relatively gentle, with a 10-meter drop into the Hishakunagare River below.

  • Located just off a winding mountain road along part of the historic Koshu Kaido route, the Yatate Cedar is an impressive sight: the tree is 28 meters tall and 15 meters wide. The cedar is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

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