Cherry Blossom in Yoshinoyama

Mount Yoshino (or Yoshinoyama 吉野山)is the most famous site for viewing cherry blossom in Japan. It is part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range which has been designated as a World Heritage Site.

“Senbon”, meaning 1,000 trees, has been used to describe the abundance of cherry trees in sight at different areas of the mountain, from the lower level called Shimo-senbon (下千本)at around 250 meters, middle level Naka-senbon (中千本)at around 400 meters, upper level Kami-senbon (上千本)at 600 meters, to the top level Oku-senbon (奧千本)at around 800 meters. The variance of altitude offers an extended period of cherry blossom viewing starting early April.

If you start early, you may visit 3 (lower, middle and upper “senbon”) out of 4 cherry blossom areas in Mount Yoshino in one day, including some hikes. Plus a quick visit to a couple of shrines.

Of course if you drive, you may always stop over more places but you may miss some of the hiking paths which offer magnificent viewing spots.

Yoshinoyama Naka-senbon 吉野山中千本
Start your trip from Naka-sebon (middle level) by taking a bus from Yoshino Station, then hike up.
Sakura Tenjo-en Cherry Tree Exhibition Field 吉野山櫻展示園
This Sakura Tenji-en Cherry Tree Exhibition Field is a beautiful area where you will see various species of cherry trees donated by some aficionados.
Yoshinoyama tea houses 吉野山茶屋
As you hike up to Kami-senbon, there are some areas where you may take a rest, buy snacks and have a tea/coffee.
Snacking in Yoshinoyama 吉野山小吃
It’s nice to try some Sakura-mochi, Sakura Tofu and coffee when taking rest.
Kami-senbon at Yoshinoyama 吉野山上千本
The “Senbon”, thousands of cherry tree views at Kami-senbon.
Yoshino Mikumari Shrine 吉野水分神社
Visit Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, a World Heritage before you head down.
Yoshino Kami-senbon 吉野山中千本
As you walk down to the middle level, Naka-senbon, towards Nyoirin-ji Temple, there is a walking path that lead you through a nice forest.
Yoshino cherry blossom 吉野山賞櫻
In spring, all viewing spots are occupied for appreciating cherry blossom. Some picnic, some paint, and some just sit around.
Nyoirinji 如意輪寺
Nyoirin Ji (Temple) was founded in the 10th century and rebuilt in 1650. There is a bus stop where you can take a bus back to Yoshino Station.
Yoshinoama cable car 吉野山纜車
After you arrive at Yoshino Station, take a cable car to the lower level Shimo-Senbon.
Yoshinoyama Shimo-senbon 吉野山下千本
Shimo-senbon is relatively small and easy to walk around. The main walking path is from this red bridge down to Yoshino Station.
Yoshino Shimo Senbon 吉野山下千本
The cherry blossom view of Mount Yoshino from Shimo-senbon.

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