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Yoshinoyama and around by Kintetsu Railway

Center of mountain worship

Mount Yoshino or Yoshinoyama is well-known as one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms when the thousands of cherry trees along the mountain slope bloom. Lesser known is that the mountain is also one of the centers of Shugendo, an ascetic mountain worship religion. Kinpusenji Temple, the main temple on Yoshinoyama is, accordingly, one of the most important temples in Shugendo.

As a center of a mountain worship religion, it goes without saying that there are numerous walking trails on Yoshinoyama. The ones for regular visitors are more tame compared to the dizzying trails used by the ascetic practitioners. There are numerous temples on the mountain, some with more illustrious histories than others, but all equally atmospheric. The town center on the mountain is where most of the restaurants and accommmodation facilities are located. Visitors will be sure to see kakinohazushi, which is pressed sushi wrapped in a persimmon leaf, and kuzu, Japanese arrowroot, products, both of which are Yoshino delicacies.

Yoshinoyama is located in the middle of Nara Prefecture, which is mostly mountainous. The mountain is served by Kintetsu Railway and can be reached directly from central Osaka (about 1 hour) or with one transfer from central Kyoto (about 2 hours). The train station is located at the lower area of the mountain, and a ropeway takes one up to the entrance of the town. A mini bus operates between the upper ropeway station to the top of the mountain, but many visitors explore Yoshinoyama on foot.

Below is a list of suggested itineraries for Yoshinoyama and its nearby attractions. Down the mountain, visitors can visit the historical town of Imaicho which has been maintained with its traditional houses and streets, visit Hasedera, an atmospheric temple popular for its seasonal flowers and go to Yoshino Town at the base of the mountain to check out the local craft using Yoshino-grown wood and visit sake breweries.

Suggested itineraries