Kofu is the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture. It is located almost right at the middle of the place and has been considered as an important center for culture, transportation and politics. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains and serves as an economic center where most visitors travel to. Below are some of Kofu’s highlights.
Kofu Castle is also known as Maizuru Castle which is located in Maizuru Castle Park. It was built by Tokugawa leyasu in 1583 after defeating Takeda shingen’s heir, Katsuyori. It was considered to be the strongest castle in the Kanto region and served as the residence of the closest lord to the shogun. It has been designated as a Yamanashi Historical Site and serves as a place of rest and relaxation for the locals. It is just 3 minutes walk from Kofu Station (Chuo Line).
The castle has just finished renovating the Inari Yagura and Yamanote Gomon Gate. The gate is located on the opposite side of the train tracks so make sure you don’t miss it! When the weather is good, the top of the castle offers great views of nature and the surrounding mountains.
Shosenkyo Gorge is one of Japan’s most beautiful gorges and is considered as a scenic jewel of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. It is known for its scenic beauty integrating seasonal plants such as cherry blossoms, azalea and other colored leaves created through millions of years. It is located 30 minutes by bus from Kofu City.
The most spectacular part of the gorge is the 30-meter high waterfall. Above it, a small village is located where you can see souvenir shops, restaurants and a terminal bus stop. This is also the departure point of the Shosenkyo Ropeway, leading to an observatory which offers panoramic views of Southern Japanese Alps and Mount Fuji.