3 Yamanashi Sightseeing Spots/山梨の三つ観光スポット

Mt. Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko
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With less than 2 weeks left until I visit Japan for a month in December (yay!), I have most of my plans made. Since I’ll be mostly staying in Tokyo, I’m going to be exploring the Kanto region. You can see my other top sightseeing spots in Tokyo (part one), Hakone, and more Tokyo (part two).

12月に一ヶ月位日本に旅行しに行くから、2週間でもありませんね。だから、大体計画をもう作りましたね。今回は東京に泊まるから関東の辺に遊びますよ。前の観光スポットの説明は東京箱根また東京だから、どうぞご覧ください。

This time, I’m discussing my top 3 sightseeing spots in what I consider to be my hometown, Yamanashi Prefecture (aka Yamanashi Prefecture). When I studied abroad in Japan I was in Yamanashi, so of course I want to visit again. Most of my Japanese classmates have moved back to their hometowns or to other prefectures, but a few of my friends still live in or near Yamanashi so I’d like to visit them.

これから、ふるさとの山梨県の三つ観光スポットを紹介しようと思います。日本に留学した時、山梨県に住んでましたからやっぱりもう一度旅行しに行きたいと思いますよ。大学の級友は大体実家とか他の県に引っ越したけど、級友が数人いるからまた会いたいと思いますね。

1. Fuji Five Lakes/富士五湖

The Fuji Five Lakes are (gasp) 5 lakes at the northern foot of Mt Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture. The 5 lakes are:

富士五湖は山梨県の富士山の北にある湖でしょ。その五つの湖は:

  • Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)/河口湖
  • Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako)/山中湖
  • Lake Sai (Saiko)/西湖
  • Lake Shouji (Shoujiko)/精進湖
  • Lake Motosu (Motosuko)/本栖湖

These lakes were formed hundreds of years ago by lava flows from multiple eruptions of Mt. Fuji, which dammed up rivers. Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka have a long history of use as spots for religious bathing. The 5 lakes are also part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

この五つの湖は何百年富士山が爆発した時、溶岩流によって形作られていました。溶岩流が色々な川をせき止められました。河口湖と山中湖は昔から聖なる所で、よく入浴した所らしいです。富士五湖は富士箱根伊豆国立公園にも入ってます。

I’ve been camping and boating at Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Yamanaka in the summer, but in the winter I hear there are great views of Mt. Fuji when the air is clear. The natural beauty of the five lakes is spectacular!

河口湖と山中湖でキャンプしたり、漕艇したり、よく夏に遊んで、冬に空気が綺麗だったら富士山の景色は素晴らしいって聞きましたね。富士五湖の自然的な景色がとても綺麗ですね。

Mt. Fuji at Lake Kawaguchiko

View of Mt. Fuji from shores of Lake Kawaguchi – Photo by Kei

2. Saiko Iyashino Sato Nenba Healing Folk Village/西湖いやしの里念場

This destination with a lengthy name is the Saiko Healing Folk Village. It is a replica village from the Showa Period (1926-1989). It has reconstructed thatch-roofed houses that contain shops. From the village you can see Mt. Fuji and the Aokigahara Sea of Trees.

西湖いやしの里念場昭和時代の復元の町です。草葺の建物の中にお店がありますね。里念場から富士山青木ヶ原樹海も見えますから、景色がとても綺麗だそうです。

In addition to shops, there are hands-on activities such as Japanese paper making, doll making, and soba noodle making. These activities all require advance reservation, and I probably won’t do them, but I think they are a great opportunity to learn some traditional Japanese crafts.

しかも、念場で色々な工作も作れますよ。紙を作ったり人形を作ったりそばを作るクラスもありますね。予約しなければいけなくて、お金も払わないといけないから、今回多分やりませんね。時間あったら、絶対やってみたいと思いますね。

A side note: the Aokigahara Forest is also known as Suicide Forest because many people choose to end their life in this forest. It is full of rock caverns and the density of trees blocks most wind. With the addition of lack of wildlife, it is an eerily quiet forest and is associated with demons in mythology.

備考:青木ヶ原樹海は自殺の名所という噂により、他の深い森より自殺者が多く、その遺体が遊歩道からそう遠くない所で見つかることも少なくないでしょ。

3. Shrines

There are many shrines in Japan, and quite a few in Yamanashi Prefecture, but the two I am particularly interested in are Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine and Arakura Sengen Shrine.

日本は神社がいっぱいあり、山梨県にも多いけど、私は今回特に富士吉田浅間神社新倉山浅間神社に行きたいと思いますね。

Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine/Northern Entrance Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine/北口本宮富士浅間神社

This shrine is in Fujiyoshida, near Fuji Five Lakes, and it is the northern entrance to Mt. Fuji. Pilgrims would purify their body and mind here before climbing Mt. Fuji. It is in the midst of a dense, old forest, with 3 trees marking the border of the area that are about 1000 years old.

この神社は富士吉田にあって、富士五湖と近いですね。富士山の北口でしょ。昔は参拝者は富士山に登る前に体と心を清めました。この神社は深くて古い森の中にあり、回りに約千年間に生きてる木が三つありますね。

Fuji Sengen Shrine - Photo by Kei

Fuji Sengen Shrine

 

Arakura Sengen Shrine/新倉山浅間神社

This shrine is also in Fujiyoshida, and it is on a mountain, allowing it to offer great views of Mt. Fuji. It is famous for its night view, and it is recommended to watch the change from daylight to nighttime during sunset.

この神社も富士吉田の山にあり、富士山の景色はやっぱり綺麗ですね。富士山の夜景は特に美しそうですよ。日の入に行ったら一番良いって聞きましたよ。

Fuji Sengen Shrine Tree

Fuji Sengen Shrine – Photo by Kei

Those are my top 3 Yamanashi spots! Have you been to Mt. Fuji or Yamanashi Prefecture? Any other recommendations in the Mt. Fuji area? Let me know in the comments!

それで、山梨県の三つ観光スポットです!富士山や山梨県に行ったことありませんか?お勧め観光スポットありませんか?是非コメントで教えてください!

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