Yamanashi Wine Country

Winding Down with Yamanashi Wines

Yamanashi is the most prolific wine region of Japan with over 140 years of growing experience, producing a third of all the wine made domestically. So there’s simply no better place to tour vineyards while tasting the best the country has to offer.

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Sip on some history while learning about the wine culture of Yamanashi.

Sip on some history while learning about the wine culture of Yamanashi.

Japanese wine is produced in Japan using domestic grapes. Winemaking in the Katsunuma area has a history of over 140 years, although it is thought that grapes were first cultivated here during the Nara Period (710-794). While wineries in the area these days also make wine from European and American grape varieties, many still use the local light pink Koshu grapes as they have since the 19th century. The white wines made from these indigenous Koshu grapes tend to have a pleasant fruitiness and polished finish. Yamanashi Prefecture’s best-known reds are made from Muscat Bailey A grapes and are often light and dry enough to be enjoyed year-round.

Koshu City's Katsunuma, Fuefuki City, and Yamanashi City are collectively known as the “Kyoutou area,” and with over 60 wineries in the area, is the foremost winemaking region in Japan. The vineyards are beautiful, spreading across flat lands to sloping hills, changing the landscape from light blue in early summer to gorgeous shades of yellow and crimson in fall. Koshu wine has low iron content, and has been highly rated in both Europe and the United States as a drink that goes well with Japanese food such as sushi. The beautiful scenery and wine culture of the region have been recognized as Japan heritage, and the best way to get to know it is by visiting a gorgeous vineyard, and luxuriating in wine complemented by Japanese food.

Wandering around the orderly vineyards while stopping to sample some of the local whites and reds is a great way to discover the history of Japanese wines. Visitors can even visit the oldest winery in the country, the Marquis Winery, which was started in 1891. If you are pressed for time and can’t hit up all the wineries, stop by Budo no Oka where visitors can taste 180 different wines from inside a large cave. Each wine is screened for quality by wine specialists.

Yamanashi Wine Country

Yamanashi Wine Country

Considering Yamanashi is Japan’s major wine region, you’ll be remiss if you don’t take the time to fully tour the region, tasting everything it has to offer. If coming from Tokyo (Shinjuku), an hour and a half away, we recommend you take a train or bus in order to fully enjoy the region without needing a designated driver. To truly understand the roots of authentic Japanese winemaking, we also recommend you visit Miyakoen, a vineyard turned museum.


Miyakoen Tel: +81 553-44-0444

Business hours

09:00 - 16:30 (last entrance 16:00)
Closed on Tuesday(or the next day if it is a public holiday), year-end and New Year holidays


Digital Map

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