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Yamanashi, about 1½ hours from Tokyo, is surrounded by high mountains and is covered by huge beautiful forests, including Mount Fuji and the 5 lakes area. Visitors can hike, mountain climb and relax in the local onsen (hot springs). After your adventures be sure to have some Hoto (a local soup/stew) made with thick noodles and vegetables in a rich miso broth. Yamanashi has three national parks and is famous for growing delicious fruit, especially grapes and plums. Wine lovers the world over are discovering Yamanashi’s Koshu wine, and when you are visiting the area there are winery tours and fruit picking excursions that are fun and delicious. You can also try your hand at making washi paper, or bring home beautiful Yamanashi crystal or silk textiles. Glassware, paper making and weaving are the traditional artistic crafts of the prefecture.
Yamanashi Prefecture draws most of its tourism from its natural scenery, including Mount Fuji, the most prominent symbol of Japan. Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the five surrounding lakes, is also a popular destination to enjoy a lakeside view of the iconic mountain.
The natural scenery in the areas surrounding Mount Fuji offer up new sights every season. The red maple leaves in the Momiji Corrider during the month of November is especially worth a visit.
For a one-day tour around Kofu Station is a good introduction to the natural beauty and cuisine of the prefecture.
Yamanashi is incredibly close to Tokyo and the metropolitan area, the prefecture is literally a train ride away from Shinjuku and the center of Tokyo. There is no need to take a plane to the prefecture, making a quick day trip to the prefecture cheap and easy to do.
Houtou, a dish similar to udon but with thicker noodles and heartier broth, is Yamanashi's most famous local speciality. As a major producer of both peaches and grapes, the prefecture is known as the "Kingdom of Fruits".
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