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Traditional and outdoor attractions collide in Yamanashi's capital

About Kofu
Photo: Eiji Nakagomi / JT

Things to do in Kofu

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Where to eat in Kofu

Places to stay in Kofu

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Shosenkyo Ropeway

Shosenkyo Ropeway

Cathy Cawood

Take Shosenkyo Ropeway to the summit of Mount Rakanji, also known as Yasaburodake, for panoramic views of Kofu basin, the Japanese..


About Kofu

Kofu is surrounded by mountains, with Mount Fuji, Mount Kimpu, Mount Shirane and Mount Kai-koma enclosing Yamanashi Prefecture's capital. An easy day trip, Kofu is only 90 minutes by train from Tokyo.

Visitors can savor the city's renowned local fruits and fine wine, and take a dip in hot springs such as Yumura Spa within the city to rejuvenate the body.

Kofu Castle lies just a short distance from Kofu Station — cherry blossom trees transform the usual lush greenery around the castle into a pink sea, making the 16th century castle even more impressive.

For students looking for success in studies, Takeda Shrine is the go-to place. The shrine is dedicated to Takeda Shingen, who was a feudal lord in the area during the 1500s and revered as a determined historical figure. A festival is held annually on the first weekend of April and is one of the biggest events in Kofu.

East of the city is Kai-Zenkoji Temple, a Buddhist Jodo sect temple that was said to have been founded by Shingen in 1558. Its main attractions are its large entrance gate, a great bell and imposing pagoda.

Apart from historical attractions, Kofu is also home to the Yamanashi Prefectural Science Center and Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art. The former is an observatory with interactive displays that are well-suited for a family day out, while the latter is filled with paintings and sculptures from international and local artists alike.

Kofu is not limited to urban sights, as the Shosenkyo Gorge is only 30 minutes away by bus. It offers spectacular views of the Sen-ga-Taki Falls and the Arakawa River cutting through the steep gorge.