KOFU, Japan — To most Japanese, the Yamanashi prefecture, just southwest of Tokyo, is known for its vineyards, hot springs and fruit, and for being home to Mount Fuji. But what about its jewelry industry?
“Visitors come for the wine, but not so much for the jewelry,” said Kazuo Matsumoto, chairman of the Yamanashi Jewelry Association. Yet, Kofu, the capital of Yamanashi, with a population of 189,000, houses around 1,000 jewelry-related companies, making it the most important jewelry producer in Japan. Its secret? The presence of rock crystal (tourmaline, turquoise and smoky quartz, to name three) in its northern mountains, part of a generally rich geology. It is all part
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