Visiting Mount Yoshino and the surrounding town is like visiting three places at once in NaraPrefecture. The Shimo Senbon(lower), Naka Senbon(middle), and Kami Senbon(upper) areas of the mountain each offer different attractions and things to see.
Mount Yoshino was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 2004 called “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.” It’s a rather leisurely hike with the mountain’s altitude at 350 meters.
Shimo Senbom is where most people coming from Yoshino Station arrive and has some of the most spectacular cherry blossoms of the whole mountain. This is the departure point for the ropeway that travels to the top of the mountain in case you aren’t up for hiking.
As this area also encompasses the outskirts of the surrounding town, most people use the route through town as their path up the mountain. It’s a great place to get some food before traveling upwards as all the best shops and restaurants are in this area. The town route also has the best sights, including the world-famous Kinpusen-ji Temple and Yoshimizu Shrine with its fantastic views.
Upward Mount Yoshino
Kami Senbom (upper area) is where the most common image of Mount Yoshino, as seen below, is usually shot. The best place to get this iconic snap is from a spot called Hanayagura. However, photography isn’t the only attraction as picnics can be enjoyed in the area’s many parks and simply walking around the natural terrain can lead to beautiful, isolated spots.
One of the best-kept secrets of Mount Yoshino is also here, the Oku Senbonarea. This area has cherry blossoms that bloom later than the flowery wonders elsewhere due to the high altitude. This gives people who missed the peak season a second chance to see the spring blossoms.
While Yoshino can get crowded, especially at cherry blossom time, there are still plenty of lesser-known locations dotting the area, waiting to be discovered.