Kimpusenji Zaodo

The first gate of Kimpusenji Zaodo(The main hall of Kimpsenji)
Zaodo Inside of Zaodo

Here is another national treasure dedicated to Japanese Buddhism, named Zaodo. Zaodo is the second largest wooden structure after Todaiji in Japan. Zaodo is the main hall of Kimpusenji temple, which is the head of temple of one of the Japanese Buddhism in Mt. Yoshino. Kimpusenji was traditionally a junction in a series of stops on pilgrimage routes and so now as well.

Come and feel the traditional Japanese atmosphere quietly at the temple. There are much fewer people than Todaiji.



The First Gate to Yoshinojingu The Second Gate to Yoshinojingu
The Main Hall of Yoshinojingu Inside of the Main Hall

With 20 minutes hiking on the mountain road from Kintetsu Yoshinojingu station, there is a shrine that is not as famous but solemn and calm named Yoshinojingu.

Yoshinojingu was built in 1889 at the gateway of Mt. Yoshino. The ancient emperor that  has been enshrined in the shrine is famous as a god of marriage. Therefore, the shrine has got a lot of people who would like to worship for their good marriage. Also the visitors can get sacred luck charms there.

If you would like to do some sightseeing in Japan but avoid a crowd and feel Japanese ancient atmosphere, Yoshinojingu is the best place for you.


Yoshimizu Shrine

The first gate of Yoshimizu Shrine The World Heritage Yoshimizu Shrine
Stairs to the shrine Hitome Senbon
The third gate of the shrine The garden in the shrine
The chozuya The main hall of the shrine

There is a small gate as tall as neighborhood houses on the Mt. Yoshino street.  The gate is an entrance of Yoshimizu Shrine. Once I passed through the gate, I walked on the mysterious way like stairs going down and going up will be on my way to the shrine. 

After finish walk up the stairs, there is great view at the spot of Hitome Senbon over the second gate of the shrine. Hitome Senbon means that we can see a thousand of trees at a sight.  In spring season, we can enjoy the view of a thousand of pinkish cherry blossoms on Mt. Yoshino

Passing through the last gate arrowed us to enter into the main area of Yoshimizu Shrine. A beautiful garden that consist of greens, mysterious rocks and a calm stream is beside the main hall of the shrine.

Yoshimizu Shrine has been said that built in around the 14th centuries and used to be a temple where an emperor and priests used to live. Therefore, lots of conventional documents and treasures have been remaining and exhibited. 

This is where we can definitely enjoy the view and learn history of Japan. 



Kobashi's Rice Cake Pack

Appearance of Kobashi Introspection of Koabashi

With a 10 minutes walk along beautiful Yoshino river from Kintetsu Yamato Kamiichi station, there is a small rice cake shop, "Kobashi", that is hardly found. Kobashi is well known for stunning race cakes among people who live in Yoshino. Because of popularity of the rice cakes, they run out as soon as the shop open everyday.

Kobashi started the rice cake shop more than 200 years ago. A current shop keeper is the 4th generation. Successive shop keepers have inherited their method to make the cakes and the taste of the rice cakes.

One of the most popular rice cakes that Kobashi serves is that red bean paste is covered with thin pounded rice and its surface is baked a bit. The taste of the cake is marvelous. That is not too sweet and not too salty, greatly balanced. Its expiry date is the day you buy the cake, which means you have to eat it while fresh.

If you are eager to get the rice cakes, you better make a booking. Let's try 200-years historical taste in beautiful Yoshino.

Trading Hours: 8:00 AM~Sold Out
Closed: every Thursday


Mt. Yoshino

Welcome to Mt. Yoshino Ropeway Station
Ropeway Gondola Guide Map of Mt. Yoshino
Small Bridge on Mt. Yoshino View on Mt. Yoshino
Gate on Mt. Yoshino Street on Mt. Yoshino
Souvenir Shop SAKURA Flavored Coke

Mt. Yoshino is well known for one of the most beautiful cherry blossom sites in Japan. Cherry blossoms on Mt. Yoshino have been conserved and worshiped as the sacred trees for more than 1300 years. In spring season, more than 30000 cherry trees are blooming and the mountain is covered by pinkish veil.

Spring is not only the season that visitors can enjoy seeing the mountain. They can feel natural beauty anytime they want to come to the mountain. In summer, these pink trees change their color to fresh verdure. In autumn, green leaves become red like flame. In winter, silvery white snow cover the mountain and the mountain prepare for next spring.

Additionally, the visitors can find many unique souvenir shops, cafes and restaurant while climbing up the mountain. You can eat SAKURA(cherry blossom) flavored rice cakes, ice cream and coke. Mt. Yoshino is good to see, good to buy and good to eat.

To access Mt. Yoshino, it is better to take Kintetsu Yoshino Line trains. If you get off the train at Yoshino Station, you can see a ropeway station nearby Yoshino Station. Visitors can climb up the mountain by cars, on foot and by the ropeway. The ropeway enable the visitors to watch 360-degree panorama view of Mt. Yoshino.

Because of the ancient tradition of nature worship in Japan, Mt. Yoshino was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" in 2004. Also, Yoshino-cho became a member of the association of "The Most Beautiful Village in Japan" in 2012.

Mt. Yoshino Tourist Association Official Web Site

The Association of The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan Official Web Site



Cherry Blossoms on a Hill Cherry Blossoms From a Bus
Takaminosato Takaminosato
A Cafe Space Ad board for Takami Roll Cake

A new beautiful garden where we can definitely enjoy seeing cherry blossoms in Higashyoshino(East Yoshino) has appeared. Approximately 1000 of weeping cherry tree are blooming in April there. The place where we can see such a huge amount of only weeping cherry trees is pretty rare, even though there are a lot of beauty spots to see cherry blossoms all across Japan. Normally, weeping cherry trees and other types of cherry trees are mixed in other site in Japan.

There is also a cafe space and some shops in the garden. A cherry blossom flavored roll cake, "Takami Roll Cake", that is sold at the shop must be all of visitors's favorite.

A representative who started to plant the cherry blossoms in the garden would like to conserve the forest and use the area effectively. These honorable thoughts realized one of the most popular spots to see the cherry blossoms in NARA.

To access the garden, direct buses are available from Kintetsu Haibara station during the period. \1000 is necessary for the entry. But that entry fee is used to keep the garden beautiful.

Looking forward to next Spring!!

Takaminosato Official Web Site (Japanese)


Imanishi Seishindo

Imanishi Seishindo Inside of the shop

There is a small but great rice cake shop along a national road route 169 in beautiful Yoshino. The name of the shop is Imanishi Seishindo. 

All rice cakes that Imanishi Seishindo serves are made by original and unique handmade methodology that has been inherited for 60 years. Thanks to the methodology, the rice cakes keep soft for longer than other normal rice cakes. Additionally, the rice cakes are made of uncompromising stuff like Yoshino-grown mugwort, Japan-grown red beans and fresh water. Once you eat the cake, you will never forget its marvelous taste and textures.

Imanishi Seishindo has another cafe style shop in Asuka, which is famous with antiquities as well although the photos above are Oyodo shop. For the Asuka shop, the location is a bit hard to access on foot so it might be good to rent a cycle and go to the shop seeing beautiful green in Asuka.