February 13, 2021

Let’s visit beautiful photo spots in Yamanashi Prefecture!

Yamanashi Prefecture is located in the Chubu Region of Japan. Since it’s known as the home of Mt. Fuji, it attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world.

Here, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery within its vast natural landscapes, which is why it’s also a popular destination for mountain climbers and even campers.

From Tokyo, it takes three hours by train to get to the nearest station to Mt. Fuji. To get to Kofu, the capital city of Yamanashi, it takes two hours by limited express.

Although I originally moved to Yamanashi just because of my job, I fast became one of those people who fell in love with its clean air and beautiful starry sky.

Yamanashi Prefecture has a lot of attractive aspects other than Mt. Fuji.

Not only is it the top domestic producer of fruit like grapes and peaches, but it is also the first place where wine was made in Japan.

Some whiskey distilleries were also established here because of the abundance of tasty, crystal clear water. That’s why people refer to Yamanashi as a heaven for liquor lovers.

As for food, Houtou and Yoshida Udon, which are famous for their firm and chewy bite are popular dishes here. The texture of these noodles are completely different from ordinary udon, so don’t forget to try them if you get the chance.

Yamanashi is a landlocked prefecture but there are a lot of lakes. The five lakes at the base of Mt. Fuji are known as “Fujigoko” (Fuji Five Lakes).

In this article, I’d like to show you some of the most highly recommended photo spots in Yamanashi Prefecture.

1. Arakurayama Sengen Park-Enjoy the beauty of Japan

Arakurayama Sengen Park is a must-go photo spot in Yamanashi. 

This park, which overlooks Mt. Fuji and a five-storied pagoda called Chureito Pagoda, is gaining popularity among overseas tourists because of its beautiful traditional Japanese landscape.

I recommend going there during the cherry blossom season in the spring and the golden autumn leaves season.

During the cherry blossom season in particular, a lot of people visit this spot to enjoy “hanami,” the cherry blossom viewing.

Only people who manage to climb up all 398 steps have the privilege of enjoying this spectacular view, so why not grab a camera and challenge yourself to the arduous climb to earn one of the most beautiful shots you’ll ever take??

2. Houtou Fudou Higashi-koiji  Store-Delicious and Curious?

This unique round-shaped white building is actually a restaurant that serves Houtou, a famous local dish in Yamanashi.

This building, based on the image of the clouds over Mt. Fuji, has won numerous awards around the world.

What a unique experience to be able to taste Yamanashi’s beloved traditional local cuisine at such a stylish spot!

Houtou noodles, which are flatter than udon noodles, have a unique chewy texture. 

Houtou noodles have a comforting taste because they’re stewed in miso flavored soup with pumpkins and sansai, which are wild edible vegetables. This taste will make you feel relaxed when you eat it.

Just looking at a picture of this building alone is sometimes enough to bring back memories of the delicious taste of Houtou.

3. Lake Shoji-Enjoy the starry sky and the night view of Mt. Fuji

Lake Shoji is one of the Fuji Five Lakes. 

The night views of Mt. Fuji and the star-studded sky that can be gazed upon from Lake Shoji are absolutely magnificent.

If you go there on a clear night, you’ll feel like the sky is close enough to touch and that you’re surrounded by a blanket of stars.

Many people visit this spot during meteor showers in particular to watch or take pictures of the shooting stars.

While a lot of tourists take photos of Mt. Fuji, I’m guessing only a few people think about coming to photograph the views at Mt. Fuji at night...

So why don’t you go there and see it with your own eyes? A scene much better than any picture awaits you there.

However, do remember that temperatures can dip  quite low at night so please make sure to wear clothes that will keep you warm.

  • Shojiko:
  • Address: Shoji, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi

4. Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine is over 1,900 years old and is surrounded by a tranquil and sacred atmosphere.

Walking down the pathway surrounded by tall cedar trees and cypress trees, you’ll find a beautiful red torii gate welcoming you at the end.

The towering trees standing at both sides of the prayer hall are called Goshinboku (sacred trees) and are estimated to be 1,000 years old.

Looking up at these massive sacred trees as they shoot straight upwards towards the sky can make you feel calm and peaceful.

This shrine is also known as a spiritual spot, so a lot of people come here to pray for good relationships or better luck.

So, maybe you’ll attract good luck if you set a photo of this shrine as a wallpaper on your smartphone... who knows!

There are numerous buildings on the site of this shrine and 11 of them are listed as the national important cultural properties.

5. Hananomiyako Park: The perfect photo spot all year round

Hananomiyako Park is a flower park that changes from season to season.

Here you’ll find cherry blossoms and tulips in spring, sunflowers in summer and cosmos in autumn. During winter, there are no flowers, but you can enjoy a light display event called Illumination Fantaseum at night.

I went there on a winter night and enjoyed the magical, romantic light displays for free. I must say it was a truly wonderful experience.

There are fireworks on most weekends (usually on Saturday nights) during the period of “Fantaseum,” and this attracts a lot of couples and families.

Some displays are programmed to sync the movement of lights and music, which is quite creative.

You’ll even find Mt. Fuji shaped displays.

  • Hananomiyako Park:
  • Address: 1650 Yamanaka, Yamanakako-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi
  • Opening hours: 8:30–17:30 from April 16 to October 15, 9:00–16:30 from October 16 to April 15, Closed: Tuesdays from December 1 to March 15 (except holidays)

Above are the 5 photo spots that I recommend the most within the nature-filled Yamanashi Prefecture.

When is the best season to travel to Yamanashi Prefecture?

If you want to take wonderful photos, I’d recommend the cherry blossom season which is from the end of March until the beginning of April and the autumn leaves season which is from the beginning of October until the end of November.

Summer is the perfect time if you want to taste juicy fruit or climb Mt. Fuji.

Sadly, it’s difficult to travel around the globe because of COVID-19 at the moment, but let’s hope the world will open up again in the near future and you’ll be able to come to Japan soon!

So for now, I’ll keep posting useful information about Japan so that you can get busy designing the best Japan travel itinerary for you in the meantime!

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