Everyone eventually has to decide which road to take. Life doesn’t allow the luxury of following each and every pathway. That nagging feeling that you may have missed out always lurks somewhere in the back of your mind.
While travelling abroad as a younger man, I often had the feeling that the highlight of my entire vacation would be just around the next corner. This obsession of mine often made my travelling companions quite frustrated. The Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Colosseum are no-brainers. Of course you have to see these sights if you have a chance. However, I personally prefer serendipity. I love stumbling upon a gem that very few tourists have ever seen or experienced, don’t you? It is this very same nagging feeling that keeps compelling me to explore the mountain roads in Japan. I cannot travel down each and every road, but at least I can try to do justice to the one I chose to travel by:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(By Robert Frost)
This site aims to curate your journey along the mountain roads at the very heart of rural Japan. Allow me to select the very best of what Yamanashi has to offer. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture times long forgotten on these serendipitous adventures.
Click on the link below to see the location of Yamanashi in relation to Tokyo and the surrounding area. Yamanashi Prefecture borders Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Nagano and Saitama. The main city of Kofu is about 90 minutes from Tokyo (JR Shinjuku Station) on a regular express train. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive to Kofu from Haneda Airport. You can also access Yamanashi from the Shinkansen line (bullet train) that runs through Shizuoka. Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line to JR Shizuoka Station, change to the Limited Express Fujikawa bound for the JR Minobu Line. There are also highway buses from various cities. You can easily catch a bus from JR Shinjuku Station for around ¥2,000. For real diehards, you can walk from Nihon Bashi to the foot of Mount Fuji, just as people did in the Edo period (1603-1868).