The former stronghold of Takeda Shingen, Kofu lies at the heart of Yamanashi on the northern edge of Mount Fuji. It’s renowned for the Takeda Shrine and its culturally-significant hot springs, while also being the gateway to Shosen-kyo Valley.
Things to do in Kōfu
At the heart of Kofu is the Takeda Shrine, which is positioned at the 16th-century residence of military general, Takeda Shingen. It features family heirlooms and artefacts on display in the small museum and floral varieties igniting the grounds in spring.
Spend a day exploring the inspiring landscapes of Shosen-kyo Valley, part of the sprawling Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. Wander along the banks of the Ara-kawa River to admire the 180-metre-high Kakuenbo rock formation and the beautiful Senga-taki Falls, then ride the cable car up Mount Rakanji for panoramic Mount Fuji views.
A short drive from Kofu takes you to the healing hot springs of Yumura Onsen, believed to have been discovered by a Buddhist priest in 808 AD. Great literary figures, such as Seicho Matsumoto and Osamu Dazai, once retreated here to write, making the ryokan and public baths of Yamura a distinguished place in Japanese history.
Mingle with the locals as you stroll through the picturesque grounds of Maizuru Castle Park, which encompasses the 16th-century ruins of Kofu Castle. Admire the impressive walls and explore the replica Inari Yagura tower that now contains a museum displaying original castle artefacts.
Getting around Kōfu
Kofu is around 1.5 hours by train from Tokyo or 2.5 hours from Haneda Airport. Buses travel throughout the city, but having your own vehicle is best for exploring the surrounding sights.