With wide open skies, gorgeous greenery, hot springs, and world-class cuisine, Yamanashi offers exhausted urbanites an opportunity to rejuvenate both the mind and the body, all while opening up new windows of inspiration. This section celebrates the healing properties of the region by highlighting the best destinations for recovering your well-being.

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  • Fugaku Wind Cave

    All throughout Aokigahara Forest are underground caves formed by lava from the massive eruption of Mount Fuji in 864 CE. One of these is the Fugaku Wind Cave, which has an average internal temperature of 3°C and was historically used as a natural refrigerator.

  • Sakaorinomiya Shrine

    The quiet, peaceful Sakaorinomiya Shrine has a very long history, being the only Shinto shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture mentioned in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, the two eighth-century chronicles of early Japanese history.

  • Yuki Park

    The peaceful Yuki Park is popular with people of all ages and is home to the Kofu city zoo. Both the zoo and the park stand on land that once belonged to the Ichirenji Buddhist temple, and old temple buildings can still be seen on the edge of the grounds.

  • Kai Zenkoji Temple

    Zenkoji Temple was established in 1558 by the warlord Takeda Shingen, who ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from 1540 to 1573. The temple’s atmosphere invites solitary acts of quiet contemplation, and on clear days, there is a stunning view of Mount Fuji from the main hall’s front steps.

  • Yumura Onsen

    Kofu’s Yumura Onsen is famous for the sheer number of different hot-spring resorts located on and around Onsen Alley, a narrow, winding street at the foot of Mount Yumura. Some are full-service hot-spring hotels, while others are more casual Japanese-style inns.

  • Nishiura District

    Nishiura is a nightlife district – a maze of alleyways crammed with dozens of tiny  bars, featuring architecture that’s remained largely unchanged since several decades ago, and bathed in the warm glow of lanterns and vintage street lights.

  • Road Station Fujiyoshida

    The Fujiyoshida area’s roadside rest and shopping area offers the visitor splendid views of Mount Fuji. The shop in the main building sells freshly harvested local highland fruits and vegetables, as well as locally brewed sake, ready-to-eat condiments, and souvenirs.

  • Tokaichiba and Natsugari Springs

    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.

  • Ichinokama Waterfall

    Ichinokama Waterfall is a hidden cluster of three powerful waterfalls, the most spectacular of which exceeds 20 meters in height. Down in this bewitching spot, each season brings its own particular charm to the scene.

  • Happiness Walk

    Happiness Walk is a commemorative path dedicated to Professor Satoshi Ōmura, a biochemist and joint winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It is the most scenic route from Nirasaki Station to the Ōmura Art Museum and features nine sculptures by different artists.

  • Ojiragawa Gorge

    Ojiragawa Gorge is named for the Ojiragawa River and is one of the most famous nature spots in Yamanashi Prefecture. The gorge is popular at any time of year, but is especially beautiful when the leaves change in autumn and during the period of lush greenery in early summer.

  • Ojiragawa Suspension Bridge

    The Ojiragawa Suspension Bridge and the Kaikomagatake Shrine beside it are two of the highlights of the Ojiragawa Gorge. Easily accessible via a five-minute walk from the gorge’s parking lot, the bridge is a popular photo spot that affords views of the Ojiragawa River and its clear mountain water.

  • Lake Mizugakiko Visitor Center

    The still, peaceful, and secluded Lake Mizugakiko is a popular destination for its sweeping views of nature and its proximity to the Masutomi no Yu hot-spring area. The pristine surface of the lake reflects the trees around it, making for a particularly colorful display.

  • Friend Park Mukawa

    Camping in the mountains, surrounded by nature, is the perfect way to relax and recharge, and Friend Park Mukawa makes the ideal destination for such a laid-back getaway. On hot days, the Omu River with its clear water from Mount Kaikoma is an ideal place to swim, while the park’s barbecue area provides a place to cook food out in the open.

  • Masutomi no Yu

    The Masutomi Hot Spring Resort area has a history dating back to the time of Takeda Shingen, the warlord who ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from 1540 to 1573. According to legend, miners digging for gold in the area discovered an underground hot spring and noticed that the water helped heal their wounds and cure their illnesses.

  • Doryu Falls

    Doryu Falls is considered the most beautiful waterfall in the Kawamatagawa Valley. The name Doryu means “Spitting Dragon Mouth” and, with water flowing in multiple paths down moss-covered rocks, it is not hard to imagine it gushing from the mouth of a dragon.

  • Hokoji Temple

    Hokoji Temple is a Shingon Buddhist sanctuary also known as the Temple of Flowers for its lush front garden, filled with a wide variety of flowers. These include plums, camellias, cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, and bush clovers, plus a great many maple trees, giving the temple colorful natural scenery from spring to autumn.

  • Daizenji Temple

    The mountainside Daizenji Temple is also known as the Grape Temple for its long association with viticulture in Yamanashi. The temple’s monks still grow grapes and make wine, which visitors can purchase.

  • Daibosatsu no Yu

    Located at the foot of Mount Daibosatsu, this hot-spring spa has a stunning view of the surrounding forest. On a clear day, it is possible to see all the way to the Southern Alps.

  • Yamato Tenmokusan Onsen

    Sitting 1,000 meters above sea level, surrounded by mountains and close to a mountain stream, the Yamato Tenmokusan spa overlooks a gorge. Its natural hot-spring water is drawn from the surrounding mountains and has a silky smooth texture.

  • Hikawa Keikoku Leisure Center

    Located on the banks of the Hikawa River, the Hikawa Keikoku Leisure Center is a family-friendly place to enjoy the natural surroundings. There are several designated fishing holes in the river where visitors can rent a rod and reel and try angling for rainbow trout.

  • Mitama no Yu

    Mitama no Yu is a very special kind of hot-spring bathhouse. In addition to 100-percent natural baths and one of Japan’s “100 best night views,” additional facilities enable Mitama no Yu to offer all-round restoration of the mind, body, and soul.

  • Lake Shibireko

    Located on Mount Hirogatake, Lake Shibireko fills a crater formed by the volcanoes that enclose Shibireko Prefectural Nature Park. Abundant flora and fauna mean the scenery changes dramatically with each season.

  • Minobusan Ropeway

    The Minobusan Ropeway features a succession of breathtaking views that one might think only mountaineers get to marvel at. The ride is also a spiritual one, as the car travels on a sky-high “pilgrimage” from the precincts of Kuonji Temple up to the mountaintop Okunoin Shishinkaku Temple.

  • Oyanagawa Gorge

    Oyanagawa Gorge, on the long, snaking river of the same name, features dramatic natural landscape navigated via a succession of ten rope bridges. Those with a love for swaying high above rocks and gushing waters will be in their element here.

  • Aokigahara Forest

    Aokigahara is a dense, primeval forest of mixed coniferous and broadleaf trees stretching across 30 square kilometers. The forest floor consists of volcanic rock, which is hardened lava that flowed from Mount Fuji when the volcano had a major eruption in the year 864.

  • Mother’s White Waterfall

    Mother’s White Waterfall is part of a small Shinto shrine of the same name located right next to the waters. For centuries, worshipers seeking to climb Mt. Fuji have purified themselves at this waterfall and prayed for safe journeys.

  • 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.

  • Tabayama Onsen Nomekoi-yu

    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.

  • 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.

  • Makiba Park

    The expansive Makiba Park, located on rolling hills backgrounded by the Yatsugatake mountains, offers plentiful opportunities to reconnect with nature. Amiable animals including ponies, cows, and rabbits roam freely around, enjoying the purest air at elevations of 1,200 to 1,700 meters.

  • Takeda no Mori Forest Park

    Takeda no Mori Forest Park occupies a 2,500-hectare stretch of verdant woodland and runs from east to west, directly facing Mount Fuji. The park enables visitors to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities amidst breathtaking scenery and historical remains.

  • 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.

  • Yatate Cedar Tree

    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.

  • Oshino Hakkai

    Oshino Hakkai, or the Eight Seas of Oshino, are a set of eight ponds located in the Fuji Five Lakes area, on the site of a former sixth lake that dried out several centuries ago. The eight ponds are fed by snowmelt from the slopes of Mount Fuji that filters down the mountain through porous layers of volcanic rock.

  • Lake Yamanakako Hana no Miyako Park

    This sprawling 300,000-square-meter flower field transforms into a veritable sea of color between spring and autumn, backgrounded by Fuji in the distance. Depending on the month and season, visitors can enjoy an astonishing variety of flowers.

  • Narusawa Ice Cave

    The Narusawa Ice Cave was formed around 1,150 years ago. Inside, some of the tunnel sections have a ceiling just 90 centimeters high, forcing visitors to crouch or crawl through. The cave is covered in ice all year, and the temperature inside averages about 3°C.

  • The Teahouse in the Sky, Misaka Pass

    The Teahouse in the Sky has long been a favorite local spot for spectacular views of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchiko. It is noted for having hosted many Japanese literati, most notably twentieth-century authors Masuji Ibuse and Osamu Dazai.

  • Minami-Alps Hot Spring Lodge

    The Minami-Alps Hot Spring Lodge is an affordable and homey accommodation with hot-spring baths. A night or two spent here serves as a reminder that simple, back-to-basics lodgings can be every bit as enjoyable and reinvigorating as their more luxurious counterparts.

  • Nishizawa Gorge

    Nishizawa Gorge cuts through mountainous landscape and possesses some of the most beautiful scenery of Japan’s many ravines. It is famed for the succession of captivating waterfalls encountered on a wander through, backgrounded by the Tosakayama, Hafusan, and Tokusayama mountains.

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