A sacred site for mountain worship, Zao-do. Enjoy hiking amid the 30,000 cherry trees of Mt. Yoshino-yama.
Yoshino, located at the center of Nara Prefecture, is a collective term for the central and northern part of the Kii Mountains and the areas along the Yoshino-gawa River, within Yoshino-Kumano National Park. The most famous site in the area is Mt. Yoshino-yama, with over 30,000 cherry trees, it is considered to be the best cherry blossom viewing spot in Japan.
Mt. Yoshino-yama was the original site for a disciplinary practice of mountain asceticism. Located at the foot of the mountain is Kinpusen-ji Zao-do Temple, which was built during the Nara Period in the 8th century by En-no-Gyoja, one of the founders of mountain asceticism, a sect of Buddhism that incorporates a form of ancient mountain worship. The area around the Kii Mountains is inscribed as a World Heritage Site for various reasons, including its rare historical sites where Shinto and Buddhism have blended together, and its rich natural scenery.
The Zao-do, a national treasure, is Japan's second largest wooden structure, after Daibutsu-den Hall at Todai-ji Temple in Nara. Other attractions include Yoshino-jingu Shrine, founded at the end of the 19th century, and Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine which used to be the monks' quarters of Kinpusen-ji Temple, Nyoirin-ji Temple and Kinpu-jinja Shrine.
In addition, visitors to Yoshino can enjoy hot springs in a rich natural environment amongst the beauty of the cherry blossoms, either for a day trip or an overnight stay.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 15 min to Kyoto Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and 1h 45 min from Kyoto to Yoshino Station by Kintetsu Line.
*It takes 2h 45 min from Tokyo to Kyoto Station by Hikari Shinkansen.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 1h 25 min from Abenohashi to Yoshino Station by Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line.