Mt. Yoshino Sakura Viewing and Walking Tour
Welcome to Mt. Yoshino. Look at gorgeous pink mountains!
It is said that the first cherry trees were planted along its slopes more than 1300 years ago, and today the Yoshino mountain is covered by approximately 30,000 cherry trees of 200 different varieties. The tourists from all over the world come here to follow the cherry trail in usual year.
Following the cherry blossom footsteps, on 2nd April 2021 we visited the province of Nara, beautiful village in Japan – Yoshino, where we did an online live “Breathtaking Sakura Viewing and Walking Tour @ Mt. Yoshino”
Yoshino is a small town that is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as a sacred and pilgrimage site in the Kii Mountains region. It is famous mainly for the mountain of the same name. The town is known for many historical events, since the Heian era it is also a popular place among people contemplating the beauty of cherry blossoms – 30,000 terraced trees with flowers in all shades of pink. Their different varieties bloom in succession, allowing hanami to be celebrated throughout the month.
The very closest area of Mount Yoshino was once divided into four levels: Shimo Senbon (covering the vicinity of the station, part of the town and the foothills of Yoshino Mountain), Naka Senbon (where the most important objects in the village are located), Kami Senbon (a quieter and less built-up area) and Oku Senbon (the highest part containing the smallest number of sakura trees). Originally, each sector gathered up to approx. 1000 cherries. Currently, there are about 30,000 of its trees (the specimens belong to about 200 species), which can be admired while walking along a total of 8 kilometers of paths.
While walking, we come across numerous old temples, including Kinpusenji from the 8th century, the second largest wooden structure (after the Nara Tōdaiji), housing the mausoleum of Emperor Go-Daigo Nyoirinji and being the home of the former southern Yoshimizu court and distinguished by a unique architectural style Shrine of Mikumari. The most important religious monument in the area is the Zaō-do pavilion in the Kinpusenji temple, created by En no Gyōja, the creator of the Shugendō faith focused on asceticism, combining elements of shintō and Buddhism.
The most crowded places for picnics among the falling cherry blossoms are mainly in the Naka Senbon sector which covers most of the surrounding buildings, picnic areas in local parks are the most popular. People looking for more intimate places should go to the higher parts of Yoshino, where you can visit observation points known for spectacular views of the area – Hanayagura and Takagiyama.
Along the way, we stopped by interesting shops like food stalls, souvenir shops, local confectionery with Japanese cherry blossoms flavor.
One of the most important events in Japanese culture is hanami 花見 – Japanese cherry blossom festival – families and friends gather in parks in order to admire nature, relaxing on blankets and eating their favorite dishes.
After walking and admiring the beauty of sakura, we got a little bit hungry, so it was a good time to grab a bite of Nara’s unique cuisine!
Probably the best lookout point in Yoshino, this Yoshimizu Shrine observatory has spectacular views over Yoshinoyama town. It’s a short walk up a slope from the main town street.
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you’re interested, I also invite you to watch the live tour video. 🙂
After the tour, we couldn’t resist the smell of fresh grilled ayu fish – a popular delicacy in Japan.
Why don’t you join our next online tour? You can participate in the live tour and ask questions on the spot
Watch the past Tour
Mt. Yoshino or Yoshinoyama 吉野山
|How to get to Yoshino |
By Kintetsu Railway
|When to visit for Sakura|
Typically start blooming cherry flowers in late March or early April and reach full bloom around early to mid April. They bloom from the bottom of mountain (Shimo-senbon 下千本) to the higher place (Oku-senbon 奥千本). Each year has slightly different blooming time. Please check Yoshino Town Homepage for the blooming forecast. (開花日: flowering date 満開日: full bloom date)
Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Japan