Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossoms

Mt. Yoshino (Mount Yoshinoyama): the famous cherry blossom mountain in Nara Prefecture

Mt. Yoshino or Yoshinoyama (吉野山) is a mountain located in Nara Prefecture, which is next to Kyoto and Osaka. It’s known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, offering picturesque spring scenery that attracts a large number of visitors during the cherry blossom season.

The mountain was designated to UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” in 2004. Several important religious and pilgrimage sites are located around Mt Yoshino including Yoshino Mikumari Shrine, Kimpu Shrine and Kimpusenji Temple.

Mt. Yoshino offers the wonderful scale of cherry blossom scenery in spring. The mountain slopes are covered with approx 30,000 cherry trees in 200 different varieties, mainly Shiroyama zakura variety. It’s said that the history of cherry blossoms on Mt Yoshino dates back to over 1300 years ago and cherry trees have inspired waka (Japanese classic poetry) and folk songs over centuries.

The mountain is roughly divided into four areas: the Shimo Senbon (base of the mountain), Naka Senbon (half way up of the mountain), Kami Senbon (upper side of the mountan) and Oku Senbon (top of the mountain). Because Yoshino’s cherry trees are planted in those four areas at different altitudes, the blooming time of cherry trees varies by the area, which means that the cherry blossoms can be enjoyed for a long period.

The amazing scenery of cherry blossoms in various pink colours can be seen on the slope. The cherry blossoms at Mt Yoshino usually start blooming from mid to late March and flourish until mid to late April depending on the weather condition. Visitors can enjoy cherry blossom viewing and walking or picnic under the trees on the mountain.

During the peak season of cherry blossoms, a light-up for cherry trees is available for night viewing, creating a mysterious atmosphere that is completely different from the daytime. It’s recommended to check the cherry blossom forecast in advance to visit there on the best time.

The nearest station to Mt Yoshino is Yoshino Station served by Kintetsu Railway Yoshino Line. The mountain can be accessed on foot via hiking trail or by a ropeway that runs from Senbonguchi Station (Yoshino Statio) to Yoshinoyama Station (Shimo Senbon). From the ropeway station, there are buses that operate through the mountain to the town on the mountain top. However, bus and ropeway services are irregular and could be suspended in some seasons, so it’s highly recommended to check the time schedule in advance.

-Mt Yoshino (吉野山)


Nearest station: Yoshino Station

Best time to visit: March to April


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"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈