When to visit?

Because the prefecture has many mountains, the temperature could vary in the morning and in the night.  The prefecture has the longest sunshine and less rainfall.

Best season:  Apr-Nov
Snow activity:  Dec-Mar (There are only 3 ski resorts in Yamanashi)
Cherry blossoms: Apr
Foliage: Oct-Nov

Events / Festivals

Feb: Yakuyoke Jizo festival (厄除け地蔵尊大祭), Kofu
Apr: Shingen Ko festival (信玄公まつり), Kofu
Aug: Yoshida fire festival (吉田の火祭り), Fuji Yoshida (富士吉田市)
Nov: Kawanakajima battle festival (川中島合戦戦国絵巻)

Touristic spots

Capital city: Kofu (甲府)

Located at the center of the prefecture, Kofu is a capital city of Yamanashi with nearly 200,000 population.  Sometimes there is a discussion which region does the prefecture belong to.  Well, what the answer it is, the truth about this prefecture is that we can reach Tokyo within less than 2 hours.

Maizuru castle (舞鶴城), which is a replica of the castle existed in the city.
Koshu Dream Street (甲州夢小路), a small street full of cafes and restaurants using old buildings.

Mt. Fuji and Five Lakes (富士五湖)

There are 5 lakes around the Mt. Fuji, and most of the typical images of Mt. Fuji are taken along with one of these lakes.  As these lakes are also located at the high altitude, you may not feel the height of the Mt. Fuji.  The scenery of the mountain with lake is just so amazing, which you can even find on the bill note of Japanese currency or in Ukiyoe (浮世絵) paintings.

Mt. Fuji from Kawaguchi Lake (河口湖), the mirrored mountain is also called as upside down Fuji (逆さ富士).

Oshino Hakkai (忍野八海)

This is the must visit place in Yamanashi.  The area is a part of World Heritage sites, where you can enjoy mysterious but amazing view of Mt. Fuji and its pond.  The color of the water is so clear that we can see the bottom.

The water is from the mountains of Mt. Fuji.

Chichibu Tama Kai National Park (秩父多摩海国立公園)

Nishizawa gorge (西沢渓谷)

The National Park of Chichibu Tama Kai holds many nature beauties, and the most amazing view may be around Nishizawa gorge.  The waterfall is called Nanatsu Gama, Godan no Taki, (七ツ釜五段の滝), which means seven waterpots and waterfall of five steps.  It is recommended to visit here during summer until autumn, as the hiking course may be closed during winter.

Shosenkyo gorge (昇仙峡)

Shosekyo is another gorge that has a spectacular view.  The nature is so amazing and it is also a part of Chichibu Tama Kai National Park.

Minobusan Kuonji temple (身延山久遠寺)

One of the biggest religious denominations of Buddhism, Nichiren shu (日蓮宗), has set this mountain as their head temple.  The whole mountain is considered as sacred, and the ambiance of this temple is so tranquil.

Kuonji temple (久遠寺).
Long steps before the temple.

Saru Bashi bridge (猿橋)

The bridge literally means Monkey bridge, and it is an important bridge since Edo period.  The view is also amazing during foliage.  The bridge itself is a replica.

Foliage times.

Kiyosato Plateau (清里高原)

The plateau became once very popular among the people from Japan, and the area was developed.  Now there are less people, however, there are still some touristic attractions.

Yamanashi does not have so many ski resorts. However, Kiyosato is one of the places where there is snow.

During summertime.
Iconic bridge of Kiyosato plateau, Higashizawa bridge (東沢大橋).