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Where to Go Yoshino

Though the most famous time of year to visit Yoshino is during cherry blossom season, it’s still worth the short journey from Osaka or Kyoto any time of year. Thanks to its world heritage listed temples and shrines and the foliage filled hiking trails it’s the perfect peaceful getaway from the metropolis madness of Japan’s bigger cities.

Index

  • Naka Senbon on Yoshinoyama

  • Kinpusen-ji Temple

  • Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple

  • Sakuramotobou

  • Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan

  • Naka Senbon on Yoshinoyama

    Mount Yoshino or Yoshinoyama for the locals, is one of the most stunning cherry blossom viewing locations in the whole country. With over 30,000 trees sprinkled across the mountain, March and April sees the city engulfed in rivers of pink. There is a ropeway that ascends the mountain, however during peak season the lines for the famous ropeway can get very long, so scaling the mountain by foot is an alternative way to explore the site. Separated into three distinct areas, your priority should be the middle section, Naka Senbon. This is where many of the accommodations, restaurants and sites are located. As well as wandering around, spend some time in Naka Senbon Park arguably one of the greatest hanami parks in the world. The top section of the mountain is Oku Senbon, home to the fewest trees, but often the blossoms here bloom a week later than most, so it’s a great place to catch the last glimpse of the fleeting hanami season.

    Naka Senbon on Yoshinoyama

    Naka Senbon on Yoshinoyama

  • Kinpusen-ji Temple

    Located around 400 meters from the cable car station is the breathtaking Kinpusen-ji Temple. This temple is home to Zao-do Hall, Japan’s second largest wooden building. Kinpusen-ji is the head temple of Shugendo, a sect of Buddhism that focuses on the ideas of mountain worship. If you get there early enough, you can witness otsutome, a traditional morning worship service which features taiko drumming and horagai Japanese conch shell blowing. It’s open for visitors for a 500 yen fee between 8:30am and 4:30pm daily, with last admission being 4pm.

    Kinpusen-ji Temple

    Kinpusen-ji Temple

  • Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple

    Making the trek through Yoshino’s foliage filled pathways you’ll uncover Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple. The 450 stair descent to the temple is an easy stroll through the city’s lushest pockets, but be warned getting back will take a little more exertion. The journey is worth it however, as the temple also hosts stunning Buddhist fire rituals. When you visit you may be offered a boiled egg, a token of stamina and good health. Locals stop by this quiet temple to pray for good academic fortune and the prevention of sickness.

    Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple

    Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple

  • Sakuramotobou

    Situated a 25 minute walk from the upper station of the Yoshino ropeway is Sakuramotobou temple. Founded over 1,350 years ago by Emperor Tenmu after he experienced a vivid dream of a beautiful cherry tree at full bloom in the middle of winter. Like many of the temples in Yoshino, Sakuramotobou draws its power and spirituality from the mountain. Framed by blossoms in March and April, the temple also houses a large weeping cherry tree, which is arguably the main attraction of the location site. At the Sakuramotobou temple priests help visitors partake in a number of rituals rich with meaning and symbolism including a Mizugyo Ritual water cleansing ritual and firewalking.

    Sakuramotobou

    Sakuramotobou

  • Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan

    In old days, Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan used to be a temple called Chinzan-ji, home to Buddhist Monks who practiced the discipline of asceticism in the mountains of Yoshino. Today it’s a traditional ryokan, which has housed a variety of guests including the former Emperor of Japan, Emperor (Hirohito) Showa (1926-1989). With open air baths surrounded by 33,000 square meters of garden it's an incredibly tranquil getaway in this peaceful and spiritual town. To get to the ryokan you can take a private shuttle bus direct from Yoshino station, but a reservation is required.

    Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan

    Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan

    Yoshino(Nara)
    Address
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama
    Phone
    吉野山 中千本
    Address
    奈良県吉野郡吉野町吉野山
    Phone
    Kinpusen-ji Temple Zaoudou
    Address
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama
    Phone
    0746328371
    Noten Daijin Ryu-ou-in
    Address
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama 2482
    Phone
    0746324880
    Sakuramotobou Temple
    Address
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama 1269
    Phone
    0746325011
  • Chikurin-in Temple
    Address
    Nara Pref. Yoshinogunyoshinochou Yoshinoyama 2142
    Phone
    0746328081
    Chikurin-in Gunpoen Ryokan
    Address
    2142 Yoshinoyama Nara
    Phone
    0746-32-8081
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