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Miyakoen played a key role in the early days of winemaking in Yamanashi. Now a museum, the property was once owned by Kotaro Miyazaki (1863-1947) and served as his residence, vineyard, and winery, later known as Daikoku Budoshu. Miyazaki bought the equipment of Japan’s first private winery, Dai-Nihon Yamanashi Winery, when it went out of business in 1886. With the help of Ryuken Tsuchiya (1858-1940), who had studied viticulture in France, Miyazaki set up Miyakoen and began making wine, brandy, and grape juice. When Katsunuma railway station opened in 1913, Miyazaki pioneered the idea of a tourist vineyard where visitors could eat grapes, drink wine, and see the wine being made. This kind of agritourism is still common in Katsunuma today.

Miyazaki’s company was named after Daikoku, one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japanese mythology. There is a statue of Daikoku in front of Miyakoen. Daikoku Budoshu, however, was not as fortunate as its namesake. The company merged with two competitors in the 1960s; it is now named Mercian and owned by beverage giant Kirin. Miyakoen and its grounds were donated to the city of Koshu and opened as a museum in 2011.

The main house, built in 1896, is filled with fascinating artifacts of Japanese winemaking. The first floor is furnished in a traditional Japanese style. There is a kura storehouse at the back from the Edo period (1603-1868) with old-fashioned winemaking equipment on display. Just as Japanese winemaking adopted Western techniques, so did Miyakoen. The second floor, remodeled in a Western style in 1928, is a museum showing old bottles, labels, advertisements, and more, mainly from Daikoku Budoshu. Photos document winemaking techniques and prominent visitors to the winery, including Emperor Hirohito.

The house and grounds are a vital link to the early days of Yamanashi’s now world-famous wine industry. Beside the main house is a large warehouse where grapes were processed and beneath it the wine cellar with barrels on display. Visitors can do a wine tasting or take a tour of the still-active Mercian winery across the road.


Venue Address

409-1313 1741 Katsunumacho Shimoiwasaki, Koshu-shi

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