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The Katsunuma area in the city of Koshu is famous for its vineyards and has a long history of fruit-growing. According to one local legend, the first grapes were planted here after the Buddhist priest Gyoki founded Daizenji Temple in 718. He had a vision of Yakushi, the Buddha of medicine and healing, holding a bunch of grapes and carved a statue of the deity. Later, Gyoki taught locals how to grow a variety that came to be known as Koshu grapes, which are still popular here today. By the 1800s, the area had become the home of Japanese viticulture, including winemaking. At Miyakoen and the Château Mercian Wine Museum, visitors can learn about early winemaking in Yamanashi.

Katsunuma remains the heart of Yamanashi’s wine region and is particularly famous for its white wines. Sprawling vineyards lined with grape trellises run along both sides of the valley in front of Katsunuma-Budokyo Station. In August and September, the fields are filled with fresh grapes and many vineyards in the area offer a grape-picking experience. Nearly 40 wineries are based in the area and many can be toured year-round. The annual Katsunuma Grape Festival is held on the first Saturday of October, when visitors can sample local wines made from Koshu and Muscat Bailey A grapes.

The gateway to wine country, Katsunuma-Budokyo Station’s distinctive two-floor stepped design includes multiple viewing spots over the valley below. Beside the station is a quiet path with views down the slopes that leads to an old switchback for the train line. The path is lined with cherry trees and is beautiful in spring. The station also includes a tourist information center and a bicycle rental stand.



Venue Address

Katsunumacho Hishiyama, Koshu-shi

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