In celebration of the 500th anniversary in 2019, the city of Kofu created a PR movie that portrays their fantastic sightseeing spots and traditional crafts. The movie is divided into 4 parts: “Wind” “Forest” “Fire” and “Mountain” (called “Furinkazan” in Japanese) a famous battle standard used by Sengoku period samurai Takeda Shingen.
Along with nice music, the movie expresses the city’s attractiveness.
What kind of city is Kofu of Yamanashi Prefecture?
Kofu is the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture. It is popular for tourists because it’s an easy 90 minutes access from Tokyo where you can enjoy fresh fruits, vegetable, historical places and a vast nature. Especially the local food such as Hoto (thick noodles) and Kofu Tori Motsuni (chicken giblets stew), and activities like grape and strawberry picking are popular. Shosenkyo is known as one of Japan’s most beautiful valley, and an abundancy of local wines (Kofu is known to be the birthplace of Japanese wine) are also very popular.
Access to Kofu
Arriving by train:
Approximately 1h 30min from Shinjyuku Station by JR Chuo Line (Express Azusa or Kaiji)
Arriving by bus:
Approximately 2h 10min by Chuo Express Bus (Shinjyuku – Kofu Line)
Arriving by car:
Approximately 1h 30min from Takaido JCT taking Chuo Express way
3 Must-see Spots to Visit When in Kofu
It is a 4km-long beautiful valley that continuously impresses tourists throughout the year such with fresh green in the spring and summertime, great sceneries of the coloring autumn leaves and the snowy landscapes in the wintertime.
Takeda Jinja Shrine
Takeda Jinja was built in 1919 and is located where three generations of the Takeda family, Nobutora, Shingen and Katsuyori actually lived. The shrine was built after the Tsutsujigasaki House where they used to live. It’s one of the most popular sightseeing spots of Kofu.
Yamanashi is well known for its variety of fruit throughout the year. Fruit picking is a popular activity in Kofu such as strawberries (January-May) and grapes (July-November). Other seasonal fruits are also available and can be tasted at local markets.
3 Must-eat Dishes to Order When You Visit Kofu
It is said that stewed noodles and vegetable in a pot with Miso soup is the root of Hoto. The noodles are made with flour like Udon and are thick and flat. There are various views on how the name Hoto originated, but according to one theory, the Kanji meaning “treasure sword” came from Takeda Shingen cutting the ingredients with his own sword.
Kofu is known as the birthplace of Japanese wine starting around 1870～1871. Then it spread throughout the prefecture up to the country wide. Kofu is the best place for wine lovers to visit wineries and taste the local wine.
Kofu Tori Motsuni (Chicken giblets stew in sweet soy sauce flavored soup)
It is said that after World War 2, a soba restaurant owner in the city thought it would be a waste to throw away the chicken giblets so he invented the stew. Since then it’s been loved as a soul food by the local people. The stew has different parts of chicken giblets with each having a different flavor and texture. Liver, gizzard, heart, inner eggs called Kinkan are stewed in a sweet soy sauce.
3 Must-get Souvenirs to Buy When Visiting Kofu
The jewelry industry has developed in Yamanashi Prefecture since high quality crystals were mined in the Edo period. Now Kofu is known as the city of gems with many crystal polishing companies.
Koshu Inden is a hand craft in which patterns are applied to tanned leather using dyes and lacquer. It was used in the Samurai’s armor. It is made with a unique technique and is designated as a traditional local hand craft.
Koshu Oyako Daruma
A uniquely shaped white parent Daruma (round shaped good-luck doll) holds a baby Daruma in the front. These Daruma dolls were made to pray for the growth of children and safety of the family.
Dialect of Kofu
There are roughly 2 different types of dialects in Yamanashi Prefecture: Kuninaka dialect which is spoken mostly in Kofu and Gunnai dialect.
Kuninaka dialect has again two different dialects depending on the area: Kitakomagun, located in the north west of Kofu Basin, and Fujikawa located in south of Kofu Basin.
Iisayoh … good, ok
●●shichoshi … Do not do ●●
Kopitto … properly, tightly
Come and visit the attractive city of Kofu sometime soon!
「Fujinokuni Yamanashi」Yamanashi Prefecture official tourism information Site