Japan has many cities and places to see and experience. Our article looks at the capital city of Yamanashi, Kofu.
There are many places in Japan that people should see and experience. It has sprawling mountains, beautiful forests, and massive cities to explore. You might have a hard time deciding on what places to visit. In this article, we will look at the capital city of Yamanashi prefecture, Kofu.
The castle town was originally built in 1519 by Takeda Nobutora. The area was under the control of the Takeda clan until it was taken by the Tokugawa shogunate. It would eventually be named a proper town in 1889. The area has experienced many trials and disasters, from flooding due to deforestation to the fall out of World War 2 bombings. It has been classified as a special city of Japan by the government for all its historical relevance.
Places to See
There are many places to visit in Kofu and some are near to the station. It is a city that has a distinct mix of urban and country life. Here are a few places you should visit if you find yourself in the Kofu area.
It was constructed at the behest of Takeda Shingen in order to hold his treasures. The temple is open to the public and has a main hall with a special basement. Visitors can go into the basement, which is pitch black, and search for the key to paradise. The key is somewhere on the wall and finding it is considered good luck and grants that person salvation. You will need to travel on the Minobu line to get to the nearest station, and it is a 10-15-minute walk from there.
This is the castle that was built after the Takeda clan was defeated. It previously covered a large piece of land, but today just main castle grounds remain. It is a 5-minute walk from the station and is open to the public. You can enjoy the park and courtyard found within the castle walls. You can also go to the top of the castle walls and get a beautiful view of the surrounding city and mountains. It is a perfect photo area.
This was the old living area of the last generations of the Takeda clan. The Takeda didn’t formally call it a castle as they viewed their people as the castle and not walls or structures. It is open to the public and has the famous Takeda shrine on its grounds. It is surrounded by moats and fortified buildings, but most of the original structures have been destroyed or rebuilt so only a few original parts remain.
It is in Tsutsujigasaki Castle and is dedicated to the god of the Takeda clan. After the Takeda clan was destroyed the castle was left in disrepair for years until the government gained control of the property. Over time the government and the locals wanted to erect a shrine to commemorate the people who were loyal during the previous era. The shrine holds art and other small architecture from the Takeda clan and its time of rule. There is also a large shrine guardian in the visage of Hello Kitty.
Yamanashi Science Museum
Yamanashi Science Museum is on the peak of Mt. Atagoyama and allows visitors to see the entire Kofu basin. It is surrounded by nature and offers a view of Mt. Fuji if the weather is clear. They have a planetarium, a hands-on exhibit room, an experiments and crafts room, a playroom for smaller children, and an astronomy room. They sell souvenirs at the store shop and have a restaurant for people to enjoy eating while taking in the beautiful surroundings. It is near the Chuo expressway and can be easily found by taking a bus from the station.
Every area has its festivals and celebrations and Kofu is no different. There are the typical national holiday celebrations, but there are a few that you cannot find anywhere else in Japan.
This is also known as the samurai festival. It is the largest gathering of samurai in the world and usually has over 1,500 people dress in the attire and march through the streets. It is held in April and is watched by many on the local and national networks. You will see each of the villages and towns represented by a group of samurai during the day-long procession.
Craft Beer Festival
This festival is held near the stations in front of the local government building. It is held at the end of July and sports local and foreign beer. You can enjoy live music, performances, and food.
This festival celebrates the date that Takeda Nobutora built the town around his mansion. There are musical performances, dances, fireworks, and food held during the celebration. The festival tries to recreate festivals from the past, so it is normal to see people dress in yukata for the festivities.
These are a few things to see and do in and around Kofu. You can find other things in the area that may cater to your interests more. It is a wonderful and beautiful area that has a unique look and feel. You can be sure to find something that will make you want to return one day.