The Isawa and Kasugai hot springs are among Japan’s leading hot spring spa areas, and they are Yamanashi Prefecture centers for tourism and accommodations which draw many tourists year-round.
Fuefuki City has four municipally operated hot spring facilities (Nagomi, Misaka, Momonosato, and Yamayuri) and hot spring foot baths which take advantage of these abundant hot spring resources. These facilities are busy with local people and visitors from afar who seek these restorative and relaxing hot springs.
Festivals and other events that give each season its unique characteristics include the spring “Peach Flower Festival”; the “Momonosato Marathon,” whose participants run through blossoming peach orchards; the “Kawanakajima Battle,” a reenactment of a famous battle that is conducted by the Fuefuki River; the “Lily of the Valley Festival,” which accentuates the fresh green of spring, and nighttime festivals such as the “Daimonjiyaki,” “Oigatayaki,” “Isawa Onsen Cormorant Fishing Festival,” and “Isawa Onsen Festival fireworks,” all of which have many visitors from Fuefuki and beyond.
Kawanakajima Battle is the main event that decorates the final day of the Isawa Peach Blossom Festival in April. The scene of the fight between Shingen and Kenshin. Kenshin who is on horseback rushes into Shingen’s headquarters, then tries to cut him down. You will see the sword fight, a Samurai falls into the river.
About 800 armor-clad warriors are divided into the Shingen Takeda army and the Kenshin Uesugi army, and reproduce the greatest battle in the Age of Civil Wars happened in Kawanakajima, Shinshu(Nagano Pref.).
Since they have the place name Kawanakajima in Isawa-cho, this event was planned in 1979 and this year they are going to have the 27th battle.
They also have the Inatomi-style gunnery party from Yonezawa han(Yamagata Pref.)and their demonstration, which has 400 years of history, and Yonezawa was once ruled by Kenshin Uesugi. Their firearms were called “Ozutsu(large rifle)”, which has the largest caliber as a gun with a stock, and if those who are not exercising firing, the shot-reaction flow them back and might break their shoulder bone.
The weight of the gun is more than 20 kg, without exercising you cannot even aim at a target. (The writer was not able to hold right the gun at all. He is in his 30s, 180cm tall, and weighs 75 kg. Quite a healthy man.
Since the sword fight by 60 professional actors is performed on the riverbank, in addition to the big fight by 800 armor-clad warriors in the back, we promise you can have a good and thrilling time.
Isawa-Onsen Fireworks Festival
Isawa-Onsen Fireworks Festival” is held on August 21 every year, and the “Isawa-Onsen Successive Nights Fireworks” is performed for 10 minutes from 8:50 to 9:00 from July 20 to August 20 every night. This is the climax of Fuefuki’s summer festivals in the final big fireworks event of the season.
The launching area is quite close to the spectator area so everyone can have a perfect view by looking straight up into the sky so full of sparks, it’s like being under an umbrella made of fireworks.
The “Isawa-Onsen Successive Nights Fireworks launches only for 10 minutes as Isawa Cormorant Show’s finale, on Wednesdays Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The “Isawa-Onsen Fireworks Festival” on August 21 is a display of the maximum scale in Yamanashi. “400m-long Niagara”, “Contest by pyrotechnists”, “Simultaneous shots of 333 fireworks”, and “Many varieties of Star mine fireworks” and other elaborated fireworks . . .
Greenhouse Earliest Peach Flower Blossom Festival
From the middle of February to mid-March, with the cooperation of about ten farmhouses in the Fujimi area in Isawa, the earliest peach blossoms will be shown in Japan to tourists in a Greenhouse. This event started in 1990 in an open greenhouse.
Now it is established as an annual event of the early Spring of Isawa. You can picnic among the peach blossoming trees without having to worry about frigid northern winds or cold, rainy days; it’s always a balmy 25 degrees Celsius inside this greenhouse.
The Cormorant Fishing
The history of the cormorant fishery of Isawa can go back to the Heian period(about 1,000 years ago), we started again the fishery in 1976 for tourists. Isawa-Ukai(the cormorant fishery) is called “on foot cormorant fishery”, which is when a fisherman goes into a river together with a cormorant.
If you want to try the fishery, please contact us and make a reservation. It is free. (That is a great experience only at Isawa.)
Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga ordered Nobushige Takeda the local governor of Kai(Old Yamanashi) to reconstruct the temple buildings, and construct the new three stories building to store “Daizokyo Texts.” The temple was one of the seven Takeda-related temples of Shingon school.
The temple treasures include the “Nirvana Scene painted on silk cloth” (a Japanese National Treasure) by Reisai and Chinese “Daihannyashingyo Texts” dedicated by Yoshisato Yanagisawa of the Local Governor of Edo period.
- Kosyu grapes – The typical grapes of Yamanashi with about 800 years of history.
Grape picking – Harvesting is from September to November.
Geisha Mikoshi – performed in the Peach Blossom Festival in April.
- Peach Blossom – You can see peach blossoms in a hothouse from the middle of February to March.
- The time for the peach to bloom – 600,000 peach trees bloom and the outskirts of Fuefuki are dyed pink.
- Cherry tree roads – The Byodo River flows through the hot spring resort in Isawa. On both banks, the cherry tree roads run about 1km.
- Isawa Open-air bath – It is a hot spring when you refer to Isawa. You can choose a place to stay from about 100 neat hotels and enjoy open-air bathing.
- The night view of Isawa – One of the Yamanashi 100 famous mountains; DAIZOKYOUJI-YAMA. The night view from the mountain.
- Onmyoji – In order to hold a memorial service for the soul of the Ukai Kansaku, it is told, that the temple, Onmyoji was built up by Saint Nichiro. Many other things concerning to this tradition of Ukai Kansaku are left behind in the temple.
- Daizokyoji – A National Treasure of Japan “Nirvana” colored on a silk cloth is held.
Hattake-shoin – The Guest house of Samurai is a prefectural treasure, built 400 years ago. It opens to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wine cellar – Wine in a bottle is waiting for someone in a storehouse.
Wine – Red, White, Rose. Cooking, Uniting or Celebrating with a partner —- delicious wine at various times and places
Parking About 600 car lots are available at Isawacho Schole Center Area. From there you can take a free shuttle bus.
Train: The JR Chuo Line, at Isawaonsen station, 20 minutes on foot to Fuefuki City Hall.
Car: Chuo Expressway, at Ichinomiya-Misaka Interchange, take a Route 20 for Kofu, at Yokkaichiba Intersection, turn to the left for the Isawacho Schole Center.
Isawa-onsen Tourism Association 777, Ichibe, Isawa-cho, Fuefuki City, Yamanashi-ken 406-0031, Japan Phone: 055-262-4111, 055-231-5500, 055-262-3645
Peach Flower Blossom Festival Contacts:
Fuefuki City Peach Blossom Festival, Fuefuki City Hall, Division of Tourism and Commerce TEL: 055-262-4111, 055-262-2158,, 055-262-3853 Yamanashi City Peach Blossom Festival, Yamanashi City Tourism Division TEL: 0553-39-2121 Shimpu Peach Blossom Viewing, Nirasaki City Tourism Association TEL: 0551-22-1111
Isawa-onsen Tourism Association Website: http://www.isawa-kankou.org/
Isawa Onsen hotels and BB vacation plan: http://www.isawa-tour.com/
Yamanashi Isawa Onsen (Hot Springs Spa): http://www.japanguides.net/yamanashi/yamanashi-onsen-hot-springs.html Fuefuki City Tourism and Agriculture Union TEL: 055-261-2829 Fuefuki City Municipal Office 777 Ichibe, Isawa Town (Isawa-cho), Fuefuki City (Fuefuki-shi), Yamanashi-ken, 406-8510 Japan TEL: +81-55-262-4111 FAX: +81-55-262-4115
Fuefuki City Tourist Information Website: http://www.city.fuefuki.yamanashi.jp/english/index.php