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Travel Trade & Media

Scenic Vistas in Yamakita

by Ushin Cho

Yamakita Town, celebrated for its natural beauty, boasts Shasui Falls — one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls — along with Tanzawa Lake, a scenic gem among Kanagawa's top 50 spots. The region offers an array of mountains and parks, ideal for hiking, boating, cycling, camping, while fostering sustainable development in adventure tourism. Nestled in the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture and bordering Shizuoka Prefecture, the area is enveloped in lush nature. This article will highlight the culinary delights and aesthetic allure of Yamakita Town.

Hand-rolled Soba (buckwheat noodles) "Taiheiraku" - Tanzawa Lakeside Ochiaikan

First, let’s introduce soba, a traditional Japanese food. Handmade by the fourth-generation owner, Taiheiraku's soba is made with 80% high-quality Hokkaido buckwheat flour, 20% domestically produced wheat, and Tanzawa's natural mineral water—making for incredibly tasty and chewy soba (Nihachi Soba)! The owner recommends the cool and refreshing Tempura Bamboo Basket Soba. The accompanying tempura varies depending on the time of year, so you can feel the change of the seasons. For example, in the autumn, you can enjoy delicious sweet potatoes. Of course, you can also have the most popular fried shrimp tempura! In addition to the tempura basket soba, the restaurant also offers a wide variety of hot soba and a popular local wild boar hot pot. After enjoying your soba, why not try their homemade cheesecake and coffee set?

Chiyonosawa Park 1st and 2nd Observatory

Chiyonosawa Park is a scenic spot located on the north side of Tanzawa Lake surrounded by mountains. The park has two observation decks where you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake, which is designated as one of the top 50 scenic spots in Kanagawa Prefecture. The area is also known as "Kanto's Fujimi-Hyakkei," and on clear days you can see not only the lake, but also Mount Fuji beyond, making it a heavenly place on Earth. There is no admission fee for the observatory. The first observatory is about a 10-minute walk via a flight of steps surrounded by nature. The second observatory takes about 15 to 20 minutes. However, walking in the clear air and listening to the sounds of the leaves around you will make you feel refreshed and forget your worries. From Taiheiraku, the observatories are only about five minutes by car or 20 minutes on foot. Start at Taiheiraku where you can enjoy soba noodles and then take a walk to the Chiyonosawa Park for a beautiful view!

Shasui Falls

Shasui Falls, which flows down the Takizawa River, a tributary of the Sakawa River, is one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls, and its flowing water has been selected as one of Japan's top 100 famous waters. "Shasui" is a mystical Buddhist term that refers to perfume poured for purification. The majestic waterfall consists of three levels—the first with a drop of 69 meters, the second with a drop of 16 meters, and the third with a drop of 29 meters. The falls has been regarded as the number one waterfall in Sagami City for a long time and is described as “Snake WaterFalls” in the Shinpen Sagamikuni Fudoki Manuscript (Record of Sagami-kuni Landscape). After climbing 226 steps, you can see the first waterfall with the largest drop, and the view is spectacular and memorable. Akabashi (Red Bridge), next to the stairs, offers you a great view from different angles. There is a small restaurant near the waterfall that serves soba noodles and other delicious dishes, so you can come here and enjoy your meal while taking in the view.

All in all, Kanagawa Prefecture has a lot of scenery, not only high-rise buildings but also beautiful landscapes surrounded by mountains with lush green foliage. Please be sure to come and take a look.

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