At Resort Outlet Yatsugatake in Yamanashi Prefecture you can shop for great deals at fashionable brand stores in a truly relaxing setting surrounded by beautiful nature. It's almost like shopping heaven!
Do you love shopping? My answer to that question would be a cautious “maybe”. I love looking at beautiful stores full of beautiful things. I love the thrill of finding a bargain, or finding something that is perfect for me. On the other hand, I hate fighting my way through crowds. I hate not being able to find anywhere to sit down when my feet start to ache. I hate the noise and fumes of traffic in busy commercial areas. However shopping at Resort Outlet Yatsugatake offers all of the positives and none of the negatives.
Located in the mountains at 1000 feet above sea-level and surrounded by beautiful forest, Yatsugatake is a lovely place to visit in the middle of summer, green and cool. I imagine it must be stunning in autumn, and even in spring or clothed in winter snow it must have plenty of charm.
Resort Outlet Yatsugatake is a shopping mall that covers a large area and is divided into seven areas, each with a great view of Mt. Yatsugatake and Minami-Alps. There are over 70 stores selling local foods and crafts, imported fashion goods, sports and outdoor goods, and everyday items. There are plenty of restaurants too, where you can try local foods (think superb fruit and vegetables and dairy products.) My friend and I went for huge, sweet peaches and blueberry soft-cream cones.
We spent ages poking around stores selling delicious pickles, jams and preserves (most of which you can try before you buy.) I saw plum jam which is a standard in my home country, but rather rare in Japan, as well as rhubarb jam, and some truly delicious relishes which would be perfect with cheese and bread.
After I dithered over some cute and funky trousers in Malaika, we scored some amazing bargains at the store selling Zara outlet goods. I was also sorely tempted to spend money in a very nice store I've never seen before selling Mexican themed clothing. I'm a sucker for ethnic style!
We were driving, but you can take a Chuo Line train to Kobuchizawa Station and get the free shuttle bus to Resort Outlet Yatsugatake. Because of the area's natural beauty, it would make a great day out. It's also a good place to take kids. There is a playground area in the mall, and hands on nature watching and craft lessons are held regularly at the Yatsugatake "Forest school". The mall is open 365 days of the year, from 10 am until 7 pm (8 pm over the summer months).