Uenohara Monitor Tour 上野原モニターツアー

Have any of you heard of Uenohara (上野原市, Uenohara-shi)? It is a rural city located in eastern Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan with an estimated population of less than 30,000 people. Read more about my experience trout fishing, gold panning, and woodworking in Uenohara!



In order to revitalize the local economy and attract more tourism, the prefectural government has started a series of Monitor Tours for foreigners to come and experience traditional customs and native sightseeing spots. I was recently invited to attend one of these monitor tours. For 2 days, we did various activities around the rural town area including fishing, gold panning, onsen (hot springs), visited a local temple and had the chance to try some local foods! The best thing: the whole tour and experience was absolutely FREE for foreigners who were invited to participate!

Received calligraphy painting from monk at local temple in Uenohara


有名な観光地だけでなく、日本の伝統的なイベント、土地の人とのふれあいを求める外国人の旅行者も増加しているそうです。そこで上野原市でもこうした外国人の旅行者を呼び込めないかと 考えた上、「秋山地区外国人モニター・ツアー」が2日間にわたり開催されました。1日目は釣り体験、BBQ、砂金採り、温泉体験、夕食でのふれあいなどが行われました。2日目は木工体験、寿司体験、座禅体験と盛りだくさんのメニューを体験できました。どういったものに興味を示すか、概観することでもありました。そして、招待した外国人にとっては、全部無料になりますよ!


*~*Fishing for Trout*~*

At the Akiyama Fishing Spot, you can fish for trout (masu in Japanese) using a traditional Japanese bamboo fishing rod! Great family-friendly event.


It was my first time fishing using a bamboo rod! It was heavier than I expected, but I successfully caught some fish!


成功! お魚を捕まえた!Success! I actually managed to catch some trout! ^^



After catching trout, you can have a barbecue at the fishing site! The fresh fish was so sweet and delicious. 




*~*Gold Panning in Kanayama Gold Mountain *~*

Kanayama Gold Mountain is a former gold mining site. Until recently, as many as 10 villages nearby the mountain stream collected gold dust as their primary economic activity. There are still many wood carvings scattered around the mountain. Now, it is mostly a local sightseeing spot where tourists can try their own hand at gold panning!



We pulled out grass and soil from the mountain to pan in the nearby stream. Putting the grass and soil deposits in the pan, you have to agitate it slowly but thoroughly in the water to get rid of the soil and other sediment. Eventually, the gold will be separated and sink to the bottom of the pan, ready to be extracted in a small clear tube as a souvenir!


Apparently I found some gold? Only the size of microscopic dust specks though!


*~*Studio Y.E’Sの木工体験*~* 


*~*Woodwork Experience at Studio Y.E’S*~*


At Studio Y.E’S, we had the chance to make our own wooden spoons!


秋山にある木工工房Studio Y.E’Sで、自分の木製スプーンを製作しました~


First, you had to choose the type of wood you wanted for your spoon. There were quite a few options, including wood from Chestnut, Walnut, Sakura, and other local Japanese trees!





After the spoon is carved, you need to sand the spoon very well using card scrapers to remove tool marks and rough surfaces. Next you had to polish the wooden spoon using a non-toxic oil finish! In our case, we used olive oil.


スプーンを製作した後、ツールマークと粗い表面を取り除くために紙ヤスリを使用してスプーンをきれいにする必要があります。 次に、仕上げるためのオイルを使って、木製スプーンを磨かなければならないですよ!私たちの場合、オリーブオイルを使用しました。


Posing with my finished spoon! ;P

ほら、見て~ 私の完成したスプーンです!


To find out more about our trip in Uenohara and Akiyama, do check out the video of me on the Akiyama Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJtRPu-XSNI

外国人モニター・ツアー秋山」の動画はあきやまチャンネルというYoutube Channelでも見ることができます。私も出演しているので、ちょっと恥ずかしいけど、興味があれば、リンクをクリックしてご覧ください~