Yamanashi Prefecture

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Yamanashi Prefecture
Japanese: 山梨県
Map of Japan with Yamanashi highlighted
Capital Kōfu
Region Chūbu
Island Honshū
Governor Shōmei Yokouchi
Area (rank) 4,465.38 km² (32nd)
 - % water 1.3%
Population  (February 1, 2011)
 - Population 861,431 (41st)
 - Density 192.91 /km²
Districts 5
Municipalities 28
ISO 3166-2 JP-19
Website Official Website

Official Website
Prefectural symbols
 - Flower Fujizakura (Sakura)
 - Tree Kaede (Japanese Maple)
 - Bird Uguisu (Bush Warbler)
 - Fish {{{Fish}}}
Symbol of Yamanashi Prefecture
Symbol of Yamanashi Prefecture
TemplateDiscussionWikiProject Japan
Map of Yamanashi Prefecture.

Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県 Yamanashi-ken?) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Kōfu.


Pre-history to the 14th century

People have been living in the Yamanashi area for about 30,000 years[cn]. As in most other Japanese regions, prehistoric society in Yamanashi progressed though the hunting, fishing and gathering stage of the Jōmon period, then the rice-producing stage of the Yayoi period and subsequent village and regional formation. The Maruyama and Choshizuka Kofun (earthen burial mounds) located on Sone Hill of Nakamichi Town (currently in southern Kōfu) are believed to have been built from the end of the 4th century. From these remains it can be assumed that the people of Sone Hill had great influence.

During the Heian period, Kai Province was created in this area.[1]

15th to 19th Centuries

Among the many Kaigenji generations, those of the Takeda, Ogasawara, and Nanbu families were particularly prosperous. During the Sengoku period of the 16th century, Takeda Shingen attained the status of daimyō and built Tsuzuji Mansion and the Yōgai Castle in Kōfu. From this base, he attempted to unify and control Japan.

After Takeda’s death in 1582, Kai-no-Kuni came under the control of the Oda and Toyotomi Clans before being subsumed into the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period. Beneath the Edo shogunate, the Kofu Clan (based in Kuninaka, or Central and Western Yamanashi) and the Yamura Clan (based in Gunnai, or Eastern Yamanashi) were formed, but in 1724 the area came under the direct control of the Shogunate. With the development of the Koshu Kaidō (highway) and Fuji River transport, goods, materials and culture flowed into the region.

By the mid-19th century, the contradictions of military government and clan system caused stability to erode and resistance to erupt across Japan, paving the way for the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

19th Century to the present day

After the Meiji government entered Kōfu Castle in 1868, the domain of the Kaifu government became Kai Prefecture. This province was rename Kōfu Prefecture in 1869; and it was renamed Yamanashi Prefecture in 1871.[1]

 The anniversary of November 20, 1872 is now celebrated as Prefectural Citizen’s Day in Yamanashi. 

In the early part of the Meiji period (1868–1911), industrial promotion policies furthered textile and wine making industries. In the late Meiji period, the Chūō Railway Line opened, also helping to develop local industry and culture.

Agricultural production in farm towns was small and from the 1910s through the 20’s there was much tenant strife. In 1926, the Minobu Railway Line opened, putting an end to Fuji River transportation.

The capital city, Kōfu, suffered heavy bombing during World War II. In 1945, as part of governmental occupation reforms, agricultural land reforms increased the number of individual farms and introduced fruit farming to the region. Industry and commerce grew at rapid speed during the following periods, and the 1982 opening of the Chūō Expressway lead to a growth of third-sector industries that continues to this day.


Yamanashi Prefecture is bordered by Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Shizuoka, and Nagano. The prefecture is landlocked, with mountains surrounding the central Kōfu Basin. Mount Fuji is located on the southern border with Shizuoka. Mt. Fuji provides rain shadow effects, and as a result, the prefecture receives only about 818 mm of rainfall a year.


Towns and Villages

Towns and villages in each district:




Yamanashi has a sizable industrial base in and around Kōfu city, with the jewelry and robotics industries being particularly prominent. The surrounding area is host to a number of farms and vineyards. Yamanashi is one of the major fruit producing regions in Japan, being the top domestic producer of grapes, peaches, plums, as well as wine. In addition, roughly 40% of the mineral water bottled in Japan comes from Yamanashi, mainly from around the Southern Alps, Mt. Fuji, and Mitsutōge areas.


Yamanashi Prefecture has a sizable minority of Brazilians, approximately 15,000 people. The prefecture also contains a number of Nigerians and Indians.



The sports teams listed below are based in Yamanashi.

Football (soccer)


Railway Lines



National Highway

  • Route 20
  • Route 52
  • Route 137
  • Route 138
  • Route 139
  • Route 140
  • Route 141
  • Route 411
  • Route 413
  • Route 469


Mount Fuji from Lake Shōji in Yamanashi Prefecture

Yamanashi is a popular destination for tourism. Mount Fuji, the Fuji Five Lakes region, the city of Kōfu, the nearby wineries, the fine temple Erin-ji, and the popular Kuonji Temple are a few of the most popular places to visit. The Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, with its new roller coaster Eejanaika, is also popular.

Eco-Tourism is another major attraction. The natural topography of the region makes Yamanashi a hiker's paradise. The tallest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, and the second tallest mountain in Japan, Mount Kita, are both located within Yamanashi. Although not as tall, Mount Minobu offers stunning views if one joins the Buddhist pilgrims up to the summit of the mountain. Parts of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, and Minami Alps National Park are located in Yamanashi.

Given the area's volcanic activity, natural hot springs, or onsens, are found in abundance. Some of the more famous are Isawa Onsen and Yamanami Onsen.



Prefectural symbols

Sister states and regions


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 448 at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.

External links

Coordinates: 35°37′N 138°37′E / 35.617°N 138.617°E / 35.617; 138.617