Wine tasting a holiday hit with tourists in Yamanashi

A wine tasting site in central Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture saw tourism numbers surge past pre-pandemic levels during the spring holiday season.

Katsunuma Budou no Oka, or Grape Hill, is a tourist site in Koshu City, a noted wine area. It has about 200 wines available for tasting.

The site operator says visitor numbers this holiday were up by about 20 percent from before the pandemic. The recent spring holiday season was the first since the Japanese government reclassified COVID-19 to the same level as seasonal influenza, loosening restrictions.

"I couldn't think of traveling abroad because of the weak yen," said a visitor. "And everywhere is packed with tourists. So it was a great choice to come here."

The operator says the site is also suitable for families and visitors who don't drink alcohol because it offers sweeping views of the Kofu Basin.