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November 10, 2013 - Kofu City - Autumn Report
Kofu is around 90 minutes from Shinjuku station in Tokyo and is the capital of Yamanashi prefecture. It seems as though this town is off the grid for Western tourists - but that is a bit of a shame. The city itself is nice and has plenty of places to visit for a day trip by itself.
Kofu castle is around 5 minutes walk from the station and has some of the most prominent stonework in a re-created castle I have seen in Japan. The castle itself is great especially for a picnic - but there are also good views of Fuji on clear days. Note that there are also some nice gardens here. It's free to enter.
Kaizenkoji Temple is around 10 minutes walk for Zenkoji station (4 minutes by train from Kofu station). The main grounds are free but it costs 500 Yen to enter the main temple area. Note that is this is a sister temple to Zenkoji temple in Nagano. As such, it was a small passageway for tourists to cross in complete darkness which is always fun...
Takedajinja Shrine is around 5km or 2000 Yen via taxi from the previous temple. For today - the shrine was packed with parents who dressed their young kids in traditional dress. To call most of the kids cute was a little bit of an understatement. I wish I could have taken better photos of the kids - but I did not want to pry on what was probably an important day for the family.
Gokokujinja Shrine is around a 5 minute walk from the previous shrine. Apart from looking slightly different - it was also much quieter. There was an interesting car boot sale down the bottom which was packing up as I got here though....
Enko-in Temple is a further 5 minutes up a small hill from the previous shrine. It's nothing spectacular - but had nice views of the city....
Daisenji temple is a further 10-15 minute walk from Enko-in temple and is quite pretty in autumn season. This is why I love coming to secondary cities. If this was in Kyoto - I would be tripping over hundreds of people. In Kofu - like almost every other temple I had it all to myself!!
Chozenji temple is located around 10 minutes walk from Kofu station and is currently undergoing major restorations. I did manage to have a quick walk around - but it will look much better in a year or so.