Grape Expo 2017 in Fuefuki City

by Justin Ehringhaus

Grapes, and Grapes, and more Grapes

The months August, September, October, and November give certain people a feeling of dread. It gets colder. The sun shines less. The leaves fall from the trees. And the world is wiped of many of its colors. But here in Yamanashi, there is yet a shimmer of hope - the winter need not be feared when there are grapes, and grapes, and more grapes!

Starting at the end of August, the 2017 Grape Exposition will have commenced! Fuefuki City is Japan's largest (and most delicious, I would say) producer of grapes - and there are an endless amount of grape-related (and wine-related) events that you may enjoy.


① Yamanashi Umaimon Festival ("Although we have no ocean, we have taste!")

Date: August 24 - September 27

Location: At all forty nine Aji no Mingei restaurants in the Kansai area.

Description: Fuefuki City and Yamanashi Prefecture have carefully selected food ingredients to use in this limited time menu at Aji no Mingei restaurants (including grape desserts!). The menu items can be found here:

② Misaka Grape Festival
AND lottery AND grape seed spitting contest

1) Misaka Grape Festival: September 1 - September 30
2) Lottery and Grape Seed Spitting Contest: September 18 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

1) Misaka Grape Festival: Various fruits plantations (Fuefuki City, Misakacho Town)
2) Lottery and Grape Seed Spitting Contest: Misaka Xanadu Park

1) Misaka Grape Festival: Those who purchase grapes and wine will receive a lottery ticket (to be entered into the lottery on September 18th) and the chance of winning luxury products such as wine or snacks made of grapes!

2) Lottery and Grape Seed Spitting Contest: An event that anyone at any age can enjoy! See you can spit grape seeds the farthest. The winner receives 2 kilos of kyohou large-variety grapes. See a video of the contest from a previous year:

③ Free bus tours from Isawa Onsen Station; Enjoy Wine and Grapes

DateSeptember 16 - September 18 from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Various locations around Fuefuki City from Isawa Onsen Station (free bus transportation available within the city)

Description: Every 40 minutes you may embark on the bus leaving from in front of Isawa Onsen Station Park for free! The bus will take you to wineries, fruit plantations, and museums around Fuefuki City. Also, at the pickup location there will be specialty products being sold, wine and grape tastings, as well as the opportunity to partake in a pigeage (grape stomping) experience. See a video of the event from a previous year:

Bus Departure Times: 
9:30, 10:10, 10:50, 11:30, 12:35 (Special schedule for lunch time), 13:15, 13:55, 14:35, 15:15, 15:55 

Bus Route Map:
(Special thanks to creator David Ellis, see references for more information about the bus tour in his Close to Mount Fuji Blog): 

1. Isawa Onsen Station

2. Monde Winery
3. Yahagi Winery
4. Suzuran Winery
5. Lumiere Winery
6. Alps Wine Salon
7. Hikawa Chuo Winery
8. Misaka Noen (Farm) Grape House
9. Yamanashi Prefectural Museum
10. Mars Yamanashi Winery

Tour for AdultsThere is also a paid tour for adults on September 17th from 10:00AM - 7:30PM that will allow to experience cooking "houtou" (noodle dish), making wine, making sweets, visiting a shrine, and enjoying an onsen. The price is 6000 yen and more information can be found (in English) on the following website:

④ Fruit parfait and jam making experience

DateSeptember 16 - September 18

Location: Marusa Maruche Cooking Studio (Fuefuki City)

Description: On the same days as the event above (free day-trips from Isawa Onsen station), Marusa Maruche Cooking Studio will be offering cooking lessons! Whether a child or an adult, you can enjoy learning how to make fruit parfaits and jam using grapes. You must submit an application through the following website (check this site for application):

⑤ "Hand in Hand"

Awake Market @ Fuefuki Triangle

DateSeptember 17

Location: Fuefuki City, Isawa Town, Matsumoto 1442 (previously NTT Ground)

Description: The popular Awake Market, in collaboration with the Fuefuki City Wine Committee, will be hosting a market that highlights the unique products of our beloved city! Farming collaborative "Kudamonobito" will be in attendance along with food trucks and miscellaneous stalls. There will also be live music and performances. You may take the free bus transportation available from Isawa Onsen train station (see event #3 for details on the bus).


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