As a gateway to the Fuji Mountains, Otsuki City enjoys fresh mountain air, outdoor activities on the river gorge and historic architecture. It’s also an agricultural enclave with innovative cuisine and farm-to-table eateries.
Things to do
Hiking is the main attraction in Otsuki, where the closest trails begin at Iwadono-san, about a 30 minutes’ drive away. Stop by Iwadono-san Museum to learn about the trail and mountain and to pick up a map for identifying sights along the way. You’ll have spectacular views of Fuji from hiking trails at Iwadono.
A favourite sightseeing spot in Otsuki is Saruhashi Bridge, built at least 1,300 years ago. Legend has it that the wooden bridge was built by monkeys and the unusual construction gives rise to endless speculation and photo ops. You can walk across the pedestrian-only bridge spanning Katsura River.
Learn the art of Zen meditation at Zuigakuin Monastery, which is nestled in the mountains and surrounded by pine forests. It’s about a one-hour hike to the monastery from the train station at Hatsukari.
Local chefs embrace the agricultural bounty of Otsuki, with fresh vegetables forming an integral part of dining experience. The signature city dish, known as Otsukake Dango, a miso-based soup full of dumplings and freshly-picked produce. Tuck into traditional Japanese fare at Tsuki Café or Kiraku, then take a brewery tour with sake sampling at Sasaichi Shuzo Shuyukan Brewery.
You can travel to Otsuki by train, while buses and taxis are available at Otsuki Station. You can rent a car at Haneda Station, about an hour’s drive away.