Yoshino town is a famous spot for cherry blossoms. It is also famous for Kinpusen-ji temple (the head temple of Shugendo), which was designated as a World Heritage Site. Tourists and local people are attracted by the magnificent natural landscape throughout the four seasons. This beauty is apparent in features like the Yoshino River, flowing through the town, mountains where Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress are artificially grown, and cherry blossoms that burst forth in spring.
This time, we are going to introduce the top beautiful landscapes of Yoshino that have been carefully selected by local people.
10: Field in Nishitani
This is one of the rare locations where terraced rice paddy fields can be seen in Yoshino.
In autumn, countless ears of rice sway in the mountain breeze and the sunset views over the fields are especially picturesque for visitors.
This area has a special beauty for every season, with its mix of dramatic mountains, rural town scenery, and fresh air.
9: Scenes of traditional Japanese washi paper drying in the sun (Fukunishi-washihonpo workshop)
Born from the area’s nature, water, and climate, Yoshino’s traditional handmade washi paper has played a role in supporting Japanese traditional arts and crafts throughout history.
Currently, the number of businesses making traditional handmade Japanese paper has decreased to three in Yoshino. Even now, Fukunishi-washihonpo strictly maintains traditional techniques without compromise. You can still see their handmade paper being dried in the sun, one strip at a time, overlooking the Yoshino river.
*You can also experience making traditional handmade Japanese paper for yourself at Fukunishi-washihonpo via reservation.
8: Yoshino’s lumberyards
The practice of planting trees for lumber in Yoshino has existed since at least the Edo period and is an indispensable part of this region’s history. A lumberyard is a place where cedar and cypress wood are collected from nearby villages as well as from the forests of Yoshino Town. The wood collected here is beautifully cut and layed out in stacks. When stockpiles are full, the scent of freshly cut wood fills the air and creates a quaint atmosphere amongst the mountain scenery. Indeed, these lumberyards represent an important part of Yoshino and are worth a visit.
7: Railway bridge across the Yoshino River
A very quaint railway bridge which crosses the Yoshino River between Yamato-Kamiichi Station and Yoshino-jingu Station.
In 1928, the Yoshino Railway was completed with an extension from Muda Station (formerly Yoshino Station) to the current Yoshino Station.
The scenery of this location has as many variations as there are colors of the sky. An evening would be well-spent nearby just watching the sunset sky and its reflection in the constant flow of the river.
6: Yoshino River (Kinokawa River), Miyataki area
The Yoshino River originates from its headwaters in the forest around Mt. Odaigahara, which straddles the boundary between Nara and Mie Prefectures. It is a clear river which flows through the town, encompassing many shapes from deep pools to fast flowing currents and rapids.
In the dry summer months, many people from the Kansai region and other areas visit this area to enjoy barbecues and playing in the river.
There are many spots on the Yoshino River where you can enjoy beautiful scenery; however, the Miyataki area is especially recommended for its canyon-like narrow cliffs and beautiful rapids. This area was also once home to an ancient countryside imperial palace due to its special beauty and richness of nature.
In early summer, Yoshino’s fresh greenery, in combination with the beautiful waters of the Yoshino River, brings comfort to all who visit.
5: Tsuburoko Lake
A popular fishing spot throughout the year, it is one of the top bass fishing spots in Kansai and also contains carp, and Japanese smelt.
In addition to fishing, you can enjoy hiking around the lake and touring its waters by pleasure boat.
Throughout the year, cherry blossoms, fresh greenery, and autumn leaves are just some of the scenery that make this lake a must-see spot in Yoshino. The natural scenery reflected on the surface of the water gives all who see it a serene feeling.
4: Takataki Falls and the Kisano-ogawa Creek
Kisano-ogawa Creek is a gently flowing waterway which flows through the cedar forest in Kisadani Valley and has been selected as one of the 31 purest of the Yamato region (Nara Prefecture).
A 15-meter-high waterfall located along the river, known as Takataki Falls, is the most impressive feature of the Kisano-ogawa Creek. The graceful and elegant scenery around Takataki Falls and the impressive view of its falling water, which flows off in different directions as it hits each rock, attracts visitors for its timeless quality.
3: Takizakura, where blossoming cherry trees are said to resemble a cascade of waterfalls
In spring, many people from all over Japan visit this area to see the stunningly beautiful cherry blossoms of Yoshino.
Referred to as “Yoshino sakura,” about 30,000 cherry trees are planted in Mt. Yoshino, from the Shimo-senbon grove (the lower section of Mt. Yoshino) to the Oku-senbon grove (the uppermost area).
Each cherry blossom grove offers its own special beauty.
Among them, Takizakura (“cherry blossoms like waterfalls”) is one of the spots that we want you to see. At this point, looking up Mt. Yoshino from the prefectural road in the Kam-senbon area, you can enjoy the view of a steep mountain valley of blossoming cherry trees which seem to crash down on one another like a waterfall of white and pink colors.
2: Kinpusen-ji temple
In 2004, Kinpusen-ji Temple’s main hall, Zao-do, and its entranceway, Nio-mon Gate, were registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range.”
Possessing a special elegance and dignified magnificence, this temple complex has a well-earned reputation for fantastic scenery and outstanding architecture.
It is one of the temples that we want you to visit when you visit Mt. Yoshino.
1: Hanayagura observation platform
This viewpoint commands a view of the entire rideline of Mt. Yoshino below and well beyond. Visitors can enjoy different scenery here from season to season. Cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh greenery in early summer, colorful leaves in the fall, and snow-covered trees in winter. It’s always a good time to visit this beautiful spot.
If you are especially lucky, you may be able to witness Yoshino’s fabled sea of clouds effect, which transforms the surrounding landscape into something more akin to scenery found in an epic fantasy novel than real life.