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Head to Koshu, the City of Wine and History
The city of Koshu in Yamanashi Prefecture is not only famous for its historical legacy and beautiful nature, but is also widely known as one of the wine-producing areas in the country. Let’s not forget its accessibility when coming from Tokyo – only 90 minutes away from Shinjuku Station, which makes it another great point of this city. Let us suggest an itinerary for a one-day trip when taking off from Tokyo, and have you experience all of its local specialties to your heart’s content!
8:00 - Depart from Shinjuku Station
The fastest means of transportation from Tokyo to Koshu is by JR Chuo limited express trains, Azusa and Kaiji. It takes approximately 85 minutes to reach Enzan Station in Koshu. The one-way ticket costs 3280 yen, and those with a Japan Rail Pass can ride in the regular cars of Azusa and Kaiji trains.
11:00 Savor Hoto, the Traditional Dish of Yamanashi!
First on our schedule is trying out hoto, the local dish of Yamanashi!
Hoto is a miso stew made by boiling different vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, scallions, mushrooms and such, together with flat and wide noodles. Served warm and containing a mild taste, it is a perfect dish for cold winter days.
You can treat yourself to a bowl at many restaurants around the city, or even participate in a hoto-making workshop at Kaiyamato Rest Area.
How to Make Hoto
First, slowly add water to the flour and knead it, either using your hands or the rolling pin. The dry flour gradually turns into a thick integrated dough.
After that, spread out the dough, making a thin layer, and cut it into 1 centimeter-wide noodles. Put it into a bowl, paying attention to not let noodles stick together during the process.
Next, all you have to do is put the noodles into a pot and boil them together with some mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, scallions, pumpkin, and various other vegetables.
You will create a more delicious soup if you remember to add in the ingredients starting with the vegetables that take longer to cook!
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