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Kofu (甲府) is a city in Japan. It is the capital city of the Yamanashi Prefecture. It is located within the Chubu region. Kofu is located in the center of the prefecture. It is surrounded by the Japan Southern Alps, Okuchichibu mountain ranges and some of the mountains reach almost as high as 3,000 meters.

Kofu has flourished as a castle town, posting station and commercial center. The population of the city is 201,184 with a total land mass of 212 square meters. The city flower is the Pink flower and the city tree is the Oak tree.

Kofu city has developed as an economic, cultural and industrial center of the prefecture. It is also endowed with nature, including the most beautiful valley in Japan and Mitake-Shosenkyo. Because of the natural seasonal beauty Kofu is a popular destination for tourism. There are temples, lakes, volcanoes and even an amusement park to visit. The natural topography of the region makes it a hiker’s paradise.

Kofu is famous as one of the leading jewelers' towns in the world. The crafters have developed tradition and craftsmanship of polishing precious stones that compares with any of the top jewelers in the world. Kofu has been admired because of its jewelry handicraft technique and is believed to be one of the top in the world.


Kofu means capital of Kai Province. During the Sengoku period, it was the stronghold of Takeda Shingen. The name is related to the geographical location. The area used to be referred to as Kai. The name is a combination of the new naming system called ken and the old called fu. This made the name Kofu.

The town Kofu was formally established in 1519. During this time the renowned general of the civil war period lived there. His name was Takeda Shingen Ko.

Points of Interest

  • Takeda Shrine was founded and dedicated to the famous general of Kai, Takeda Shingen, in 1919, at a former manor house of the Takeda family. There is a annually festival celebrated on April 12th which is when he died. There are models of Shingen himself with 24 generals who were his subjects. In the Treasure Hall in the east of the main building there are relics of historical treasures and cultural properties of Takeda family, including swords, armors, old documents and are all on display.
  • Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art is dedicated to Jean-Francois Millet and outlines his paintings and his life. These paintings are "The Sower" and "The Gleaners" which made him famous. There are works by famous artist who are connected to Yamanashi, as well as masterpieces of artist outside of Japan in different genres such as Japanese paintings, Ukiyoe paintings, wood prints and contemporary sculptures.

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