Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

This Week in Yoshino – 12 April 2022

This week, my Japan adventures took me to Yoshino in Nara Prefecture, one of the most spectacular Cherry Blossom viewing spots in the entire country.

Yoshino is a town in Japan’s Kii Mountains, east of Osaka. It’s the gateway to Mount Yoshino, best known for its 30,000+ cherry trees which colour the mountain and surrounding area pink

The mountain is divided into the Shimo-senbon, Naka-senbon, Kami-senbon and Oku-senbon – the lower, middle, upper and inner sections of trees. They were deliberately planted at various heights so that they would flower at separate times.

One of the best places to understand just how sweeping the visita is from Hanayagura Observatory in the Kami-senbon area.

Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

Mount Yoshino and Yoshinoyama town become very crowded in cherry blossom season, but there are still some quiet places to enjoy the blooms.

While people come to see the breathtaking volume of trees that illuminate the mountainside, it’s often the ‘solo’ trees that hit you

Yoshino Mikumari-jinja Shrine, just above the Kami Senbon area of the mountain, has a beautiful garden with a single weeping cherry tree – the most spectacular I have ever seen.

Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

Kinpusen-ji Temple, on the road from the Shimo-Senbon to the Naka-Senbon area, has three spectacular 1300-year-old blue-skinned Zao Gongen statues at the temple. Normally hidden, ticketed viewing was allowed during this Cherry Blossom season.

Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

This is one of the reasons that area is on the UNESCO World Heritage. The mountain is one of the most important sites for Shugendo, a syncretic mix of Buddhism and Shintoism.

It’s been said before, and it will be said again, but keeping this edition of ‘This Week in down to five photos was especially hard. Ah, screw it… here’s a bonus shot of the majesty that is Mount Yoshino. A casual snap as I was strolling through town!

Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

When visiting Yoshino, my absolute favourite place to stay is the absolutely incredible NEOLD Private House. Here’s the view of the roof terrace. You can see that the Cherry Blossom action continues – just look to the right of the Noh stage!

Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, Nara Prefecture., Japan

Can’t wait to bring Maction Planet Private Tour guests here, and beyond, during 2023’s hanami season!

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