World Heritage Site Yoshino

Mt. Yoshino known as the best cherry blossoms viewing spot.

Since time immemorial, Mt. Yoshino has been the most famous place in Japan for cherry blossoms. The cherry trees has been planted since Heian period (794-1185) and the number builds up to 30,000.In spring, a gorgeously colored carpet of cherry blossoms begins blooming in the Shimo-senbon area near Yoshino Station, and gradually spreads upwards through the midway points of Naka-senbon, then Kami-senbon, before finally reaching Oku-senbon at the peak. At this season, Yoshino is full of people to view this scene.

Said to be No.1 in Japan “Cherry Blossoms of Yoshino” and our love of cherry-blossom viewing

The origin of Yoshino’s cherry trees is said to be the offerings to Zaogongen at the World Heritage listed Shugendo head temple, Kimpusen temple in the center of Mt. Yoshino. The cherry trees of Yoshino are wild and each of them are different. The cherry blossoms have special meanings to Japanese. Maybe it’s because it symbolizes the beginning of a year. The cherry blossoms become in full bloom from buds and then scatters in about ten days. We feel a sense of beauty in this fragility and then perceive that a new year is going to begin. In the dramatic way that a cherry tree blooms so beautifully, and then demises suddenly to advance to the next, we feel a spirit of powerfulness and courage. And that is why Japanese love the cherry trees so much.

“Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”

“Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” was designated as a World Heritage Site in July, 2004 by UNESCO.

The Pilgrimage Routes are a legacy for many Shugendo practitioners ― known variously as mountain priests, ascetic monks or yamabushi ― who undergo harsh training deep in the rugged mountains. The route connects many sacred places such as Yoshinomikumari shrine, Kinpu shrine, Kinpusen temple, Yoshimizu shrine, Oomine shrine, all a part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.