Yoshino is in the northern reaches of Yoshino-gun, in the central interior of Nara Prefecture. The town is crossed down the middle by the east-west flowing Yoshino River. Within the town limits are found the Yoshino-Kumano National Park and Yoshinogawa Tsufuro Nature Park, while the cherry blossoms of Mt. Yoshino are known throughout Japan.
Blessed with pristine mountain torrents, Yoshino was settled long ago because of its strategic location along ancient byways between Kishu, Ise, Kyoto, Nara and Kumano.
Since long ago, the area has been recognized and revered as a holy land for mountain worship, but come the Nara Period, En no Gyoja built facilities for attaining enlightenment via a mountain-dwelling lifestyle and ascetic practices in the Kinpu Mountain Range that stretches from Yoshino to Omine. From that point through the middle ages, Yoshino thrived as Japan’s largest mecca of Shugendo or mountain asceticism unique to Japan.
Today, the area is registered as a World Heritage under the acclaimed title of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
|By train||By car|
Take the Yoshino Limited Express from Kintetsu Abenobashi Station … Approx. 1 hr 15 min.
From JR Tennoji Station, change at Oji-Yoshinoguchi Station … Approx. 1 hr 30 min.
From downtown Osaka|
Take Natl. Rt. 24 from the Koriyama IC of the Nishimeihan Expressway to Natl. Rt. 169 via Kashihara … Approx. 2 hr.
Take Natl. Rt. 165 (Takada Bypass) from the Mihara Junction of Hanwa Expressway through Kashihara to the Katsuragi IC of the Minamihanna Expressway, then follow Natl. Rt. 169 … Approx. 1 hr.