“After crossing the Yoshino River by train, the steep slopes of Mount Yoshino gradually come into view.
Yoshino is located near the center of Nara Prefecture and has long been famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms. En-no-gyoja, the founder of Shugendo (c. 7th – 8th century) considered the cherry trees here to be real life embodiments of the gods so thereafter deemed Yoshino to be the center of the Shugendo. Shugendo necessitates ascetic training in the mountains on the path to enlightenment.
Over the centuries Yoshino flourished as the town in front of Kinpusenji Temple and has a full bag of historical episodes in its history that involves such iconic figures as Minamoto Yoshitsune and his consort Shizuka Gozen from the 12th century and the emperor Go Daigo from the 13th & 14th centuries. Yoshino is also the location to find Yoshimizu Shrine, Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, Kinpu Shrine and a host of other similarly historical spots.”