Passion on the Vine: Yamanashi and Its Winemakers *RERUN
Yamanashi Prefecture has been a pioneer in winemaking in Japan since the mid-19th century when farmers began converting rice and mulberry fields into vineyards for the native Koshu grape. Nowadays, the crisp white wine has been winning awards at global wine events. On Journeys in Japan, we meet the passionate people behind the most talked about Koshu labels -- some coming from old winery families and others from unrelated industries.

Katsunuma Budo-no-Oka

The tourist center stands on a hill amidst vineyards on the eastern tip of the Kofu Basin. It's run by Koshu City and houses a hotel. Its underground wine cave is stocked with 150 to 200 types that visitors are welcome to taste.

Daizenji Temple

Kashiosan Daizenji in Koshu City is also known as the grape temple. The Yakushi-nyorai statue, a designated national treasure inside the Yakushi-do Hall, cradles a bunch of grapes. The statue is on view to the public only once every 5 years. Don't miss the temple's original wine.

Hottarakashi Hot Spring

The open-air bath on a slope 700 meters above ground commands stunning views of Mt. Fuji and the Kofu Basin.


From Shinjuku, it takes 2 hours by train to Katsunuma Budokyo station.