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Three outdoor highlights in Yamanashi

Yamanashi has some of the prettiest countryside in the land, and it’s location, a short trip west from Tokyo, make it popular with outdoorsy daytrippers. There are plenty of hikes and wilderness spots that can be experienced by the most green and hardcore trails that reward the more adventurous. Here are three options to experience the best the great outdoors in Yamanashi have to offer.

Three outdoor highlights in Yamanashi

Index

  • Hike Nishizawa Ravine

  • Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

  • Chase the dragon on Ryugatake

  • Hike Nishizawa Ravine

    Hike Nishizawa Ravine

    Hike Nishizawa Ravine

    There are several attractive routes to hike in the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, and the route across and along the Nishizawa Ravine is one of the finest. The Fuefuki River carved through this section of northeastern Yamanashi millennia ago, leaving this thickly forested canyon. Trails have been cut through the area, and there are still traces of the narrow gauge forest railways that ran through the area all the way out west to the Kiso Valley in Nagano.

    Hike Nishizawa Ravine

    Hike Nishizawa Ravine

    The Nishizawa Ravine’s trails are well-maintained and well-trafficked by daytrippers from Tokyo, who take National Route 140 west from Chichibu and make use of the parking lot at the trailhead. Many arrive specifically for the Nanatsugama Godan Falls. Framed by untouched forest—particularly beautiful when the leaves change color in the fall—crystal clear mountain water crashes through seven cauldrons.

    Nishizawa Gorge
    Address
    Yamanashi Prefecture Yamanashi-shi
    Phone
    0553221111
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  • Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    There is always the risk of overselling a place but Shosenkyo Gorge has to be one of the prettiest spots in the entire country. With granite cliffs, waterfalls, and shrines nestled among the forest, the Shosenkyo Gorge has something to offer hikers, photographers, or just casual visitors. As a bonus, it’s one of the spots in Yamanashi that’s easiest to reach if you aren’t driving out, with a bus connecting to the area from Kofu Station on the Chuo Main Line. Take the hike up the paved trail through the approximately two and a half mile-long gorge, and head off onto the trails from there. The Shosenkyo Gorge and the area surrounding have a number of shrines, including the Meotogi Shrine.

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Those that do choose to drive out to the gorge can travel on by car, as well, and those not hiking usually make a pitstop at Sengataki Falls (or the improbably located Shosenkyo Museum of Shadowgraph) and then head on to the Shosenkyo Ropeway (a gondola, basically) and Summit Panorama Station. The views of the surrounding mountains are particularly impressive from that vantage point, and it’s a good place to chill out and get a bite to eat before heading back down to explore some more.

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Take a pilgrimage to the Shosenkyo Area

    Mitake Shosenkyo Gorge
    Address
    Kofu city, Yamanashi prefecture
    Phone
    0552872158
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    Myotogi-jinja Shrine
    rating 20 Reviews
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Koufushi Mitakechou 2041
    Phone
    0552872020
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    Sengataki Falls
    Address
    Kofu city, Yamanashi prefecture
    Phone
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    Shosenkyo Gorge Ropeway
    Address
    Yamanashi Pref. Koufushi Ikarichou 441
    Phone
    0552872111
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  • Chase the dragon on Ryugatake

    Chase the dragon on Ryugatake

    Chase the dragon on Ryugatake

    The trail to summit Ryugatake is one of the more difficult on this list, and careful attention to the weather forecast is advised—it’s slippery when wet. It’s possible to get there by public transit, but most roll in by car to Motosuko Iriguchi and the Motosuko Camping Ground. From there, signs take trekkers up to the trailhead. In good conditions, it takes most of a day to complete the route up and back down, but those that make it to the peak are rewarded with some of the best views in Yamanashi, with Lake Motosu below and Fuji towering above.

    竜ヶ岳
    Address
    山梨県南都留郡富士河口湖町本栖竜ヶ岳
    Phone
    0555723168
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