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Yamanashi cities pour energies into wine resort

Jiji Press KOSHU, Yamanashi (Jiji Press) — In Yamanashi Prefecture, the top producer of wine made only from grapes grown in Japan, three cities have come together to create a wine resort plan.

The cities of Koshu, Fuefuki and Yamanashi, which host a total of some 60 wineries, are collaborating to promote the area as a resort where tourists can stay at “ryokan” Japanese-style inns with “onsen” hot springs while exploring wineries and other local attractions.

According to research by the prefecture, the three neighboring cities, which make up one of the country’s biggest wine-producing regions, were visited last year by about 5.5 million tourists.

Of them, 70 percent only came on single-day trips, creating a possible opening for the cities to increase the number of overnight visitors.

Wineries took the first step in efforts to coax visitors to stay longer.

Koshu-based Marufuji Winery Co., which is celebrating its 127th year in business, renovated a “kominka” old folk house and opened it as a guesthouse in March.

The guesthouse offers a serene atmosphere where people can savor the taste of wines while learning about their background.

“I’d planned this for a long time,” said Haruo Omura, chief executive officer of the winery. “I hope visitors will appreciate the charm of the old winery.”

High-quality services in hotels and ryokan are essential for persuading customers to stay overnight.

Since last year, the prefecture has been leading an initiative to provide training programs for ryokan employees in the three cities to study the basics of wine and regional tourism.Speech

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