What comes to mind when you think of Yamanashi Prefecture’s specialities?

Wine? Peaches? Or Mt Fuji?

In fact, Yamanashi Prefecture’s biggest speciality is water.

About 40% of the mineral water distributed throughout Japan, and nearly a 100% of the mineral water sold in eastern Japan, comes from Yamanashi Prefecture and Fujiyoshida City—where SARUYA is located—and is one of the representative water sources in the prefecture. The phrase ‘Water collection area: Fujiyoshida City’ can be found on the bottles at convenience stores and supermarkets.

In Fujiyoshida, the tap water sent to each household is also from this famous water source. In other words, you can drink this nationally renowned mineral water simply by turning on the tap. If you look around the world, just being able to drink tap water as it is is precious, but to have it as the best water in Japan, is simply a luxury. In addition, Fujiyoshida also sells a souvenir called Fujiyama Water Jelly, which is made from the local tap water.

The water supplied to Fujiyoshida City originates from the rain that falls on Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji is at a high altitude and has clean air, so there is no pollution at this point. Furthermore, the water that seeps into the ground is filtered over a period of 25-40 years through the strata of volcanic rock. During this time, the volcanic rocks dissolve a moderate amount of minerals, and so the water meets the requirements for good taste. 

Generally, there are several criteria for water that people find tasty, such as residual evaporation and residual chlorine, but the water from Fujiyoshida meets all of these criteria. 

When staying at SARUYA, please do not hesitate to drink tap water directly from the tap, and try the green teas and herbal teas on the wall, as they are also suitable for tea and Japanese cuisine.

The rich, clean water nurtured by Mt Fuji is used for various purposes other than drinking. One of the reasons why the textile industry flourished in Fujiyoshida City was because the water of Mt. Fuji was suitable for making dyes with good coloring. In addition, the scenery created by the rivers and lakes is used for tourism, while freshwater fish farming has evolved into Yamanashi’s gourmet cuisine.

If you want to see the abundance of clean water, which is just 50 metres outside SARUYA, the Miya River is worth a visit, where one can view the narrow alleys of the houses that are lined with waterways like a meshwork. When you approach the river thinking it is a peaceful scene in a local town, you are surprised by the surprisingly plentiful water roaring through the streets. Walking aimlessly along the Miya River, you will see a new view of Fuji-Yoshida, wondering if this powerful flow of water is filling the town with the energy and chi of Mt Fuji.

If you do, be sure to bring a bottle of tap water with you.