I almost didn’t write this post because I wanted to keep Akasawa a secret. If you visit the village, you’ll understand why. The road to the village is too narrow for two vehicles to pass, so proceed with caution. The first thing that struck me was the view from the village. The sun was slightly obscured by clouds, but it still managed to send dramatic streaks of light down to the village rooftops. It was one of those moments when you witness the divine in nature.
Akasawa seems remote, but I was informed that the village once served as a way station for pilgrims walking between temples in the Minobu, Yamanashi area. There appear to be many shuttered inns lining the narrow paths, but I did find a rather attractive tea shop that served ice cream made with local produce.
The village seemed too quiet for a Friday afternoon in late summer. I asked the young woman in the tea shop if they get many tourists in the village and she said 100 people a day would be the maximum. From what I could see, we were the only visitors that afternoon. The view of the mountains from the village is spectacular.
Most of these shots were taken at around 3 pm, so the sunlight was quite strong. I will definitely be going back to this village to get some early-morning shots.
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line to JR Shizuoka Station, change to the Limited Express Fujikawa bound for JR Minobu Station (departures at 8:17, 9:41, 11:41, 13:39, 15:40, 17:40, 19:40). You can also access Minobu from JR Shinjuku Station in 3 hours by taking an express train to JR Kofu Station on the JR Chuo Line. Once you arrive in Kofu, you will change to the JR Minobu Line for JR Minobu Station. Once you have arrived at JR Minobu Station, you can take a bus to Sumise Bus Stop which is located in a small village between Akasawa Village and Mount Shichimen. The buses are infrequent, so plan to arrive at JR Minobu Station at an appropriate time. You will find the Sumise Timetable below.