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Kofu: City of Gems

The Profound Allure of Jewelry Created through Finely Honed Skills

Crystals of high quality were mined in Yamanashi Prefecture during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). That resource, of which there was abundance, led to the creation of a jewelry industry, which has gone through a long period of development up to the present. Crystal polishing techniques progressed with the times, and today there are many companies and artisans who polish precious stones in addition to crystals and that are in the business of jewelry distribution. Kofu’s shipment of jewelry, which is the largest in Japan, is such that it is called the City of Gems.

Close to Kofu Station is the Yamanashi Jewelry Museum, which tells the history of Yamanashi jewelry. Exhibits in the museum explain the history of the industry’s development and display examples of fine jewelry and the tools used to craft them. On Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays, artisans give live demonstrations of their craft, performances that are sure to captivate you with superb skills in precious metal working, gem cutting, and crystal art carving. The museum is a fun place for families, as it also offers jewelry-making classes led by artisans.

Meanwhile, a new breeze is stirring things up for Yamanashi jewelry in Kofu. Recently, workshops crafting jewelry of great individuality and originality have been increasing and attracting attention. Of particular note, the TO LABO×1DK Series of jewelry, which combines a painstaking polishing technique with gold working skills, was selected as the first in the crafts category to be given Kofu no Akashi, a stamp of approval for quality awarded by the city government.

Many new shops have also opened their doors. Orion East, a back-alley street lined with vintage clothing stores and sundry fashion shops, has a number of jewelry shops where you can feel the commitment to craft of the artists who made the jewelry. Another new shop is expected to open in April 2016.

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Crafts

Kofu samurai Wi-Fi spot

Wi-Fi can be used free of charge near facilities in Kofu displaying a "KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi" logo sticker.

"KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi" logo sticker.

Usage Restrictions

  • 60 minutes/session (Number of times unlimited)
  • Available in five languages (connectional announcement displays)

See the Kofu Map for the locations of KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi Spots.

Details for using KOFU SAMURAI Wi-Fi