Tuesday 26 March 2013

[Day 2] Day Tour to Katsunuma Winery, Lake Kawaguchi and Koyodai In Narusawa

View of Lake Kawaguchi from Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway
We arrived at the meeting point at about 7.30am to join the local Club Tourism Yokoso Japan Tour to Mount Fuji (富士山) and Yamanashi (山梨県). It was a beautiful Monday morning and we all look forward for our trip to visit Mt Fuji. But due to the early snow that covered almost half of Mt Fuji, the tour guide mentioned that we might not be able to go up to the Kawaguchiko 5th Station ( 富士山 河口湖 五合目) depending on weather in the afternoon.

Day Tour by Club Tourism YOKOSO Japan Tour

Our 1st stop is at Chateau Kastsunuma Winery (株式会社シャトー勝沼 ) whereby we were given roughly 30 minutes to shop around plus having some wine tasting.  Upon entering the shop, each visitor is given a plastic cup where we could help ourself with the wine from the specific wine barrels.

Although the shop area was not very big but it was still quite fun going around trying the local wine plus getting some snacks and souvenirs.

Katsunuma Chateau Ltd
4729, Katsunuma-cho Hishiyama
Koshu-shi, Yamanashi
Zip: 409-1302
Website: http://www.chateauk.co.jp/


Vising time:
8:30am - 5:00pm (Weekday)
9:00am - 5:00pm(Weekend)

Second stop was at Fuefuki City which is known for producing peaches and grapes that is of exceptional quality and taste within Yamanashi (山梨県, the Kingdom of Fruit). Many farms and orchards there are open to the public and visitors so that they could pick their own fruits from blueberries, cherries, plums and strawberries to persimmons. The picking seasons are available from April to November, with more variety in the summer months from July - August.

Misaka Farm is one of those fruit farms that are open to public which has a space capacity for 1200 guests under the trellis of grape tress and guests can also enjoy BBQ in summer as well as Yamnashi’s local cuisine Hoto in winter amid nature.

After the grapes or fruits picking, you can also pick up some other seasonal fresh fruits which are available as well as some local snacks as souvenirs. We bought some Yuzu and Chestnut sweet cake which resemble pudding.

Misaka Farm Grape House (御坂農園グレープハウス - 山梨県笛吹市)
656-1 Misakacho Natsumehara, Fuefuki,
Yamanashi Prefecture 406-0804, Japan
Telephone:+81 55-263-3111
Website: http://misakanoen.co.jp/ 

Opening Hours:
8:30am – 5:00pm (Daily)

Lunch stop was at Lake Kawaguchiko (河口湖) which is easily accessible of the Fuji Five Lakes with train and direct bus connections to Tokyo. And also the best views of Mount Fuji can be seen from the lake's northern shores and are particularly breathtaking during the cherry blossom season which is around mid April and the Autumn colors around the first half of November.

Beautiful Maple Leaves near the Lake area.

Some of the souvenir shops and eateries around Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway Station where you could enjoy your meal or beverage together with great view of Lake Kawaguchi.

Our complimentary lunch was at Lake Kawaguchi Rest House Funatuya (レストハウス ふなつや) and each one of us was given the Houtou Hot Pot Set which cost ¥1050 (SG$13.70). For your information Houtou is a Japanese one-pot dish with vegetables, meat, and noodles/dumplings that are simmered in miso broth.

Houtou Hot Pot Set from Rest House Funatuya

Lake Kawaguchi Rest House Funatuya
4036 Funatsu Fuji Kawaguchiko-cho Minamitsuru-gun
Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0301
Telephone: 0555-72-1062
Website: http://www.rfunatsuya.com/index_english.html

レストハウス ふなつや
予約専用: 0555-72-1062

Opening Hours:
8:30am - 18:30pm

After lunch we took a short walk up to Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway (天上山公園カチカチ山ロープウェイ) station which was about 5 minutes away from the Rest House Funatuya Restaurant. Along the way, our hearts were captured by the beauty of the autumn laves.

The cable car departure every 5 - 10 minutes depending on the weather and it takes up to a maximum capacity of 36 passengers on each ride. This ropeway connects Kawaguchi-Kohan Station and Fujimidai Station at mountain top in about 3 minutes journey.

Upon reaching the top, everyone of us were amazed by the magnificent view of Lake Kawaguichi in it's autumn look. It is so beautiful that almost all the tourists wanted to take a photos with it as the background.

From the observation deck which sits more than 1000 meters above sea level, visitors are able to get a panoramic views of the lake below as well the beautiful Mount Fuji (富士山).

View of Mount Fuji from Mt Kachi Kachi Ropeway

If you have time, other than photo taking you could also try the different trail that leads from the observation point which is 300 meters uphill to a small shrine at the summit of Mount Tenjo. From there the trail continues on to Mount Mitsutoge which is a popular day hike with good views of Mount Fuji.

1163-1 Azagawa Fujikawaguchiko-machi, minamituru-gun
Yamanashi 401-0303 Japan
Telephone: +81-555-72-0363
Website: http://www.kachikachiyama-ropeway.com/

1163-1 Azagawa
富士河口湖町 南都留郡
Minamitsuru District
Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0303, Japan

Opening Hours:
9:30am – 4:45pm (daily)

Due to the bad weather at Mount Fuji, we could not visit Kawaguchiko 5th Station (富士山 河口湖 五合目) which was indeed a regret for us. But to compensate for the changes on the itinerary, we get to visit Koyodai in Narusawa (紅葉台) as well as the Narusawa Ice Cave (鳴沢氷穴).

Koyodai (紅葉台) is one of the smaller mountains at south of the lake which is famous ad named after its autumn colours (koyo). And before we could get to see the magnificent view of Mount Fuji in Autumn look we need to go through a roughly 20 minute hike from the car park area. Along the way, there were steep slopes, rocky paths and etc so one has to be extra careful and be well prepared with good walking shoes and a stick to support/balance while going uphill or down slope.

View of Mount Fuji (富士山) in Autumn from Koyodai

Each and everyone of us went jaw dropped when we saw the stunning view of Mount Fuji with its colourful Autumn leaves outfit. I am sure this beautiful scenic view would be a lifetime memories for all of us.  Hope we would be back to Japan soon during Winter again so that we could visit Mount Fuji and  Kawaguchiko 5th Station (富士山 河口湖 五合目) soon.

Last stop of the tour was at Narusawa Ice Cave (鳴沢氷穴) which is a cave formed by Lava from Mt.Fuji (富士山), located in Aokigahara Jukai (the Sea of Forest). The average temperature is about 37°F (3 degree Celsius) for all year. The cave is covered with ice all year, and you could also find icicle every where in the cave which sometimes grown up 90ft. long and 1.5 ft. wide. The entire cave is 450ft and it is also one of natural monuments.

Entrance of the Narusawa Ice Cave

After passing through the entrance gate, it takes about 10 - 15 minutes to complete the walk in the cave. Beware it would be very cold in the cave even in the summer months so remember to take along gloves and warm clothing. And due to the steep stairway, and narrow slippery path, one has to take extra careful steps while moving around the cave.

Above is the only decent photo that I managed to capture in the ice cave. Although it was a bit too dark to spot any icicles within our sight but along the way out we did see and feel some ice formation shown above. Between entrance fees for the ice cave is at ¥280 (SG$3.60) for adult.

Out of the cave, we headed back to the gift shop entrance to grab some Japanese soft serve ice-cream as well as shop around for some gift. And we spotted some cute Mount Fuji design plush and assorted flavour cookies which are great choices to pick up as gift. We grabbed two boxes of that triangle Mount Fuji cookies (top, right) which cost ¥530 (SG$7.00) per box of 12 cookies.

8533 Narusawa Village Minamitsuru-gun
Yamanashi Prefecture 〒 410-0320
Telephone: (0555) 85 2301


Opening Hours:
9:00am to 17:00pm (Daily)

After a long day out, we decided to settle for a quick dinner around hotel area before heading back for a good rest. So after looking around a few restaurants, we set for Negishi (ねぎし) which is a beef tongue restaurant about 8 - 10 minutes away from Shinjuku (新宿) station. Overall Negishi serve quite good quality food at very reasonable price ranging from ¥900 (SG$11.70) to ¥1500 (SG$19.60) depending on your choice. And their signature dishes are grilled beef tongue (red or white portion) and beef stew which you could order as a set meal together with barley rice, clear oxtail soup, pickles and Japanese yam/Tororo (山药 /淮山).

For us, since Mum prefer chicken and pork over beef, we settled for their Spicy Chicken and Pork Set above @ ¥1340 (SG$17.50).  Just to share, the bowl of Tororo sauce (grated Japanese yam flavoured with soy sauce) is very nutritious which could helps to combat fatigue and it produce a better result when mixed and eaten together with the mugimeshi (barley rice). Whereas the the clear oxtail soup is made by placing a sliced of sliced beef tongue placed into a soup and simmered over long hours. It helps promote longevity and strength as well as collagen that helps to restore beauty too.

To cool down the heat plus add-on some greens to our meal, I ordered our favourite Caesar Salad @ ¥470 (SG$6.15) which was fresh and crunchy. Love their Caesar sauce which perfect this salad and goes well with our main above.

Website: http://www.negishi.co.jp/

Opening Hours:
11:00am - 23:00pm (daily)


  1. Hi Ellena,

    I enjoy reading all your posts about the Japan Trip! Very beautiful shots of the scenery and of course, the omiyage from Yamanashi :) Look forward to your upcoming posts too! By the way, you mentioned that you will be coming to Japan again in Winter?

    1. Hi Li Tian,

      Thanks for your kind words. In facts we love those beautiful autumn scenery that we had being through. Hope we can be there again in Winter which i guess would be a great weather for the kid :)

  2. Hi Ellena

    I would be going to Japan end of this coming April. I was enticed by your trip to Mt Fuji. Went to the Club Tourism Yokoso site but could not locate the Mt Fuji trip that includes the winery. Could you enlighten me pse.




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