Yoshino is well-known as a cherry blossom viewing place. You can enjoy breathtaking cherry blossom views for about a month as the blossoms advance from lower elevations (“Shimo-senbon”) to higher elevations up the mountainside (“Oku-senbon”). Fresh green leaves in spring and autumn colors in fall are also strikingly beautiful.
The World Heritage site Mt. Yoshino was developed as a sacred place of shugendo, which is a religion of ascetic mountain priests who train in mountains and in which Shinto and Buddhist deities co-mingle. Kinpusen-ji Temple is a symbol of Yoshino. Its majestic main hall, Zao-do, is the second largest wooden building after the Hall of the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple. Anybody can participate in devotional exercises each morning and evening.
Yoshimizu Shrine was once the Imperial Court of Nancho, founded by Emperor Godaigo in 1336 after escaping from Kyoto where he was confined. In 1594, warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi held a lavish cherry blossom viewing party here together with a total of 5,000 of his retainers. Emperor Godaigo worshipped piously at Nyoirin-ji Temple. At the mountain in back of the temple, there is a tomb of the emperor. Chikurin-in Temple has the shukubo (lodging facilty) Chikurin-in Gunpoen, and Gunpoen is famous for its beautiful garden. Yoshino-Mimakuri Shrine is an old shrine at Kami-senbon.
Yoshino’s specialty is kudzu and you can eat kuzukiri, or noodles made from kudzu flour and sugar, at shops around the town. Kakinoha-zushi is pressed sushi. Pieces of mackerel or salmon are placed on rice and the whole is wrapped with kaki-no-ha, a persimmon leaf, which gives this sushi its name.
It takes about 75 minutes from Osaka Abenobashi Station to Yoshino by limited express train on the Kintetsu Line.