Yamanashi prefecture is located near the center of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It has an area of 1,723.8 mi2 and a population of 890,000. Surrounded by 6,560-9,840 ft high mountains and rich in nature, 78% of the prefecture is covered by forests--including those of its three national parks and one quasi-national park, such as the famous Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Kofu city, the capital of Yamanashi, is located in a geographically important area, connecting the industrial areas of the Pacific Ocean and the Japan Sea coasts. Kofu continues to develop as a political, economic and cultural center, especially thanks to the completion of the Chuo Expressway, which offers easy access to the national capital, Tokyo. Yamanashi is well noted as an inland industrial prefecture with both advanced technological and traditional industries.
Among the various products of Yamanashi, the fruits grown in its favorable environment are some of the most famous. Its harvest of grapes, peaches and plums is ranked as the best and most beautiful in Japan, and the wines made of Koshu grapes are well known all over the world. In addition, kaiki (traditional weaving of silk textiles), crystal crafting, and the production of washi, or Japanese paper, are all very popular. Techniques refined in Yamanashi for cutting precious stones are among the most advanced in the world, as well.
Mountain climbing and hot springs are among the most popular forms of recreation in Yamanashi. The many hot springs in the area offer health benefits and relaxation. The largest spring in the prefecture, located in Isawa, is only one and a half hours from Tokyo.
Mt. Fuji and the five lakes for its breathtaking scenery, the southern alps for its serious mountain climbing, the Chichibu-Tama area for hiking and beautiful ravines, and the Yatsugatake highland area for pastoral surroundings--these are the gateways where many people find their chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. After hiking, tennis, field athletics, or fishing, why not try one of our delicious local specialties? Hoto made of thick noodles and vegetables in a rich miso soup will warm you up on even the coldest winter day.
Yamanashi is an inland prefecture, holding no ocean coast. People in this area have learned to overcome the severe elements of inland climate over a long period of time. This is said to have built a character of patience and endurance in the populace. You will find people warmhearted, caring and conscientious.