Isawa Onsen in the Yamanashi Prefecture / A place to experience hot springs and fine wine

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A lovely place to relax – Hot spring , Ryokan

In the Yamanashi Prefecture, not too far west of Tokyo is the Isawa Onsen. This famous relaxation spot was formed in 1961 and earned the nick name “Hot Spring of the Vineyard.” This nick name comes from the fact that the Isawa area has the largest production of peaches and grapes anywhere in Japan.Around Isawa Onsen is an impressive 150 hotels, many of these are traditional Japanese “ryokan” hotels. Features you can expect from a ryokan hotel is a communal bath, areas where guests can wear traditional Japanese garbs called “yukata” and tatami rooms. In larger cities such as Tokyo or Osaka, ryokan inns are expensive and hard to find, however, you will not have a problem finding one around the Isawa Onsen to give you a traditional Japanese experience. Ryokan hotels often boast of their high quality meals.

the Yamanashi-Prefectural Museum

A famous museum for art lovers, the Yamanashi-Prefectural Museum awaits. Not only does it feature Japanese cultural art, there is a wing dedicated to western art as well. The western wing has a strong emphasis on Jean-Francois Millet and the Barbizon School. The Japanese art features modern contemporary art focusing on works of the Hideo Hagiwara Collection. The Yamanashi-Prefectural Museum has been open since 1978 and had a wing added in 2004 and in 2009. The museum charges admission fees based on age and based on which wings you would like to view. College students receive a significant discount, and folk 65 and older can visit any wing for free. The museum is sparking clean complete with a new lobby, library and shops which sell merchandise and souvenirs.

the Tomi No Oka Winery – just 1.5 hours from Tokyo

There are many wineries in Isawa Onsen to name, but to start, the Tomi No Oka Winery has made a name for itself amongst the many. This winery sees that every stage of wine making is handled with care. This winery has its roots as a wine vineyard started in 1909 by Tomi Noen making it one of the longest standing wineries in the entire country. The Tomi No Oka Winery is also known as the first winery in Japan in which noble grape roots were successfully harvested.From Tokyo Station you can take the JR Kaiji Line directly to JR Isawa Onsen Station. The JR Kaiji Line can also be taken from Shinjuku Station. A one way ticket will cost around 4000 yen and take around an hour and a half.■TEL - 055-262-3626 (ISIWA ONSEN)-055-128-3233 (Suntory Tomi No Oka Winery)■URL  http://isawaonsen.or.jp

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