The Nishizawa Keikoku (kJ) near Kofu is one of the most beautiful valleys of the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, a national park which covers more than 1250 square kilometers of forested mountains, hills, gorges and some rural towns in the prefectures of Yamanashi, Saitama, Nagano and Tokyo.

A hiking trail leads up the narrow Nishizawa Valley along a picturesque mountain stream and past several waterfalls. After about 90 minutes, you reach the valley's highlight, the Nanatsugama-Godan-no-Taki, a beautiful five tiered waterfall. A separate, more leveled trail leads back from the waterfall to the bus stop.

The trail through the valley is steep at times, and sturdy shoes are recommended. A visit to the Nishizawa Keikoku is particularly beautiful during the autumn leaves season, which usually reaches its peak in late October and early November.

A suspension bridge traverses the valley


The trailhead to the Nishizawa Gorge is a one hour bus ride from Yamanashishi (15 minutes, 240 yen one way from Kofu) or Enzan (20 minutes, 320 yen from Kofu) stations along the frequently running JR Chuo Line. Both stations can be also reached from Tokyo's Shinjuku Station by limited express train in about 90 minutes (around 4000 yen one way) or by local trains in about 2.5 hours (around 2000 yen, at least one transfer required along the way).

Buses from Enzan Station (Rw) to the trailhead (kJ) operate only on weekends from May to September and daily during Golden Week and the autumn color season from October to late November. There are four buses per day, and the one way fare is 1030 yen. In contrast, buses from Yamanashishi Station (Rsw) operate daily and throughout the year. There are 3-4 buses per day, and the one way fare is 900 yen.

How to get to and around Kofu