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.