Located in eastern Yamanishi prefecture is the city of Otsuki (nearly 50 miles away from Tokyo).
Once a heavily settled area during the time of the Jomon Period (12,000 BC), the city of Otsuki has a rich tradition of 80 Jomon sites.
But the area wouldn’t be known as Otsuki until 1933 and was considered a town. Only until 1954 did Otsuki receive city status and now has a population of over 25,200 people.
The location is probably best for naturists looking for rural areas in Japan and great for hikers.
Many people go to Otsuki to ride the Mt. Fuji Round Trip on a Fuji Kyuko train, others climb Mt. Iwadono, Mt. Takagawa, Mt. Gozen, Mt. Takigo, Mt. Momokura, the cliffs of Chigootosi, the Mishima Shrine, the Zenpukuji Temple or enjoy the tranquility of Iwadonosan Maruyama Park or Saruhashi Kinrin Park. Some like to check out the construction of Saru Bridge.
But visiting Otsuki, it’s very much different than being in Tokyo, especially when you see the difference of lifestyles of teenagers in a rural area vs. the big city.
Right across the street from the station, one can spot the convenience store Daily Yamazaki with its red and yellow sign, Toyota rental car service, a barbershop and more.
But for many people going to Mt. Fuji, Fujikyu Highland or Kawaguchiko, Otsuki is the destination to catch the Fuji-kyuko Line.
Fuji-kyuko Line is a Japanese private railway line between Otsuki Station and Kawaguchiko Station in Fujikawaguchiko. And is the only railway line operated by Fuji Kyuko.
One of the trains you will see is the popular 2000 series Fujisan Limited Express train. If you want a tour of Mt. Fuji.
But for the most part, the city is quite tranquil in the rural area and while I believe the place looks wonderful in the spring and summer, I went to the area in March and not only is it still snowing, the mountainside is not lush and green and dark clouds permeate the skies.
So, one of these days I’ll need to revisit the area when its surrounding hills and mountains look breathtaking.
Otherwise, it was definitely an experience to experience the more rural areas outside of Tokyo.