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Hokuto City is one of Yamanashi’s greatest hidden gems, brimming with natural wonders just waiting to be discovered, including a road of great historical significance. We have crafted the perfect itinerary for you to explore Hokuto while walking this historical road, and you can click here to watch us try it out.


Koshu Kaido (The Samurai Road)

If you are headed to Hokuto on wheels, you might notice your GPS directing you to a road called “Koshu Kaido.” The Koshu Kaido (208 km) was built around 400 years ago by the Shogun (i.e. title for military rulers in feudal Japan). It would function as an arterial roadway, connecting Yamanashi to the Shogun’s base in Tokyo and expediting the flow of goods and military forces between the two regions.

▲Walking in the footsteps of a samurai (Koshu Kaido Road)

Over two centuries ago, post stations along the Koshu Kaido were places where traveling merchants and samurai could rest, restock their weaponry, satisfy their appetites and enjoy many other convenient amenities. Hokuto City’s Daigahara-juku is one of the few remaining post stations in Japan, and today, it is a popular tourist spot with famous sake and dessert shops adorning its streets.

More Info

Hokuto City Tourism’s website:
Address: Hakushucho Daigahara, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Sake Tasting at Shichiken Brewery

▲Moments before sipping delicious sake

Shichiken is a world-class sake producer based in Daigahara, Hokuto. They create their fan-favorite sparkling sake by taking the local waters of Hakushu through a whisky barrel aging process. Don’t forget to stop by their gift shop and taste some of their sake selections so you can pick out a bottle to bring home as a souvenir.

More Info

Shichiken’s website:
Address: 2283 Hakushucho Daigahara, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Traditional Japanese Desserts at Kinseiken

▲Shingen Mochi at Kinseiken (Daigahara branch)

Across the street from the Shichiken Brewery, stands one of the oldest confectionary shops in Yamanashi, Kinseiken. Most have heard of Japan’s famous raindrop cake, but many are unaware of the fact that this delectable confection is in fact a Yamanashi-original, crafted by this very shop. The fan-favorite raindrop cake was inspired by a much older Yamanashi confection, known as “shingen mochi” (pictured above). Sink your teeth into either (or both) of these gooey mochi treats, or get a box to take home with you. Aside from their shop in Hokuto, Kinseiken also has branches in Nirasaki City and Kofu Station.

More Info

Kinseiken’s website:
Address: 2211 Hakushucho Daigahara, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Overnight Stay at Hotel Tsuruya

▲Checking in at Hotel Tsuruya

Before the sun seeps too deep into the Southern Alps, take a 10-minute walk and check-in to your stay at Hotel Tsuruya, a traditional Japanese-style inn. After slipping off your shoes at the entrance, you will be greeted by the lovely owners with a smile. In the early Meiji period, Hotel Tsuruya was a place where mountain worshippers could stay during their pilgrimage to Mt. Kaikoma. Today, it is a wholesome, privately-owned and operated, and the last remaining traditional inn in close proximity to the Daigahara-juku post town.

More Info

Address: 294 Hakushucho Shirasu, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Zazen Meditation at Jigenji Temple

▲Meditating at Jigenji Temple

After checking out of your hotel the next day, how about starting off your morning by meditating at a temple just 7 minutes up the street? Let the tranquilness seep in as you make your way through the quiet temple grounds of Jigenji, before meeting with a Buddhist priest for an enlightening Zazen session. Zazen is a Buddhist meditation technique that can guide you to a state of open-mindedness—free of any intrusive thoughts or distractions.

More Info

Jigenji Temple’s website:
Address: 1364 Hakushucho Shirasu, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Shingen Bomichi Trail

▲Stone artifact on the Shingen Bomichi Trail

For your afternoon activity, take a stroll along the Shingen Bomichi Trail (8.5 km) and discover remnants of history, like the historical stone pictured above. You can complete the trail in just under 3 hours, but you might find yourself wanting to stray from the beaten path to explore many of the forested area’s hidden treasures, such as the mesmerizing waters of Sanbuichi Yusui. Where you decide to join the trail is up to you, but a popular starting point is just outside of Kai Koizumi Station (take the JR Koumi train line). 

More Info

Shingen Bomichi Trail Map:
Address: Kobuchisawacho, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Soba Noodle Lunch at Soba Dokoro Sanbuichi

▲Lunch set at Soba Dokoro Sanbuichi

While you’re in the area, you can stop by Soba Dokoro Sanbuichi for a healthy lunch featuring soba (buckwheat) noodles and freshly-fried tempura. A pane of glass separates the dining area from the kitchen, giving you a full view of the chefs as they carefully slice and prepare these handcrafted noodles.

More Info

Soba Dokoro Sanbuichi’s website:
Address: 292-1 Nagasakacho Koarama, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Yatsugatake Long Riding

▲Horseback riding through Japanese red pines

Near “Road Station Kobuchizawa,” there is a horse ranch housing an stunning lineup of horses. Onlookers line the fenced arena, and take their time admiring these meek and elegant creatures. At Yatsugatake Long Riding, guests can enjoy scenic rides regardless of their experience level. The staff are friendly and have great relationships with the horses, which really shines through in their instruction.

Note: Although “Kobuchisawa Town” is spelled with an “s,” the local train and road stations are spelled with a “z” instead (Kobuchizawa Station, etc.).

More Info

Yatsugatake Long Riding’s website:
Address: 10265 Kobuchisawacho, Hokuto, Yamanashi

▲Hokuto City Guide Map (PDF:22,559KB)

We hope you will use this itinerary when planning your next trip to Hokuto City, Yamanashi. You can find more Hokuto hot spots in our Staff Journal, so be sure to bookmark it!

Published on

  • March 30, 2023


ホーム > Yamanashi Travel Itinerary: Hokuto City’s Historical Road