Here to assist you in visiting the historical and beautiful mountainous town of Yoshino in Nara, Japan.
The beautiful fall colors will soon be coming to an end on Yoshinoyama. Right now there are still patches of momiji around the district that are a sight to behold. In fact, throughout the town of Yoshino the fall colors are well under way.
Why not come take a stroll in the mountains under the beautiful falling leaves and contemplate the cycle of nature?
These 2 photos were taken today in the Kami-senbon area of Yoshinoyama.
In cooperation with the town of Yoshino, a great new video detailing the history and culture of Yoshinoyama was recently put together by the kind folks over at japan-guide.com.
The video can found at the following link:
Full article with pictures about Yoshinoyama can can be found here:
Please take the time to check out the video, give it a like and add a comment if you feel so inspired!
Osaka Side Trip to Yoshino in Nara | japan-guide.com Read the details of this side trip from Osaka to Yoshino: https://www.japan-guide.com/ad/kansai-by-rail/181016.html In this video we will be making the short...
The Yoshino Visitors Bureau is happy to offer a new walking tour opportunity for those who want to learn more about the Yoshinoyama area and its rich history and cultural significance.
Those who are interested can choose from 3 different possible course routes to experience Yoshinoyama in the way that best suits their interests. This tour will be conducted in English by a a guide who is a native English speaker.
For more information or to make a reservation, please use the following links:
An Introduction to Yoshinoyama (easy course): http://nara-experience.com/detail/index/328
An Introduction to Yoshinoyama (long course): http://nara-experience.com/detail/index/329
An Introduction to Yoshinoyama (uphill course): http://nara-experience.com/detail/index/330
Alternatively, you can contact the Yoshino Visitors Bureau directly.
Why not come out in autumn to see the beautiful fall colors and learn about this wonderfully unique location in Japan? Or perhaps a tour during the winter among the snow drifts may interest you instead?
Anytime is a good time to visit Yoshinoyama!
Looking for a special way to experience a bit of local Yoshino culture? How about ayu fishing in a cool, clear river in the mountainous village of Higashi Yoshino?
For those interested in trying their hand at ayu fishing under the guidance of expert local anglers, a new tour experience is now available at the following link:
This tour features training in ayu fishing techniques, English language support, and a delicious lunch of fresh ayu served in a local restaurant.
Please check the posted link for more information or to make a reservation.
This Saturday(7/7) Kaerutobi returns to Yoshinoyama!
This ceremony reenacts an old Shugendo legend involving an impious man who was picked up and carried by a giant hawk into the mountains and then transformed into a frog.
In the reenactment, a special drum palanquin is carried around Yoshinoyama bearing a man in a frog costume. The palanquin pauses at various points and is shaken by those carrying it while the drumming intensifies. Eventually, the frog is transported to the front of Kinpusen-ji Temple's Zao-do Hall. At this point a special ritual is held in which the frog is transformed back into a man through the power of the Shugendo priests' prayers.
This unique ceremony can be seen every year on July 7th on Yoshinoyama.
Please note that it is possible for this event to be cancelled in the event of severe weather (very heavy rain & wind).
Yomogi, or mugwort, is a highly aromatic herb that has a long history of cultivation in the Yoshino region and is known for its use a traditional medicine throughout the ages.
Next month (7/21), the Yoshino Visitors Bureau is delighted to be able to offer a tour experience (with English language support) in the village of Higashi Yoshino wherein participants are taught how to produce their own yomogi tea, from the process of picking tea-leaves to the act of brewing.
To go along with the tea, everyone will also be able to enjoy trying their hand at creating their own yomogi mochi rice cakes via the traditional method of pounding mochi rice dough with a large hammer.
After everything is done, enjoy a taste and then take everything that you made home with you.
Don't miss this chance to experience a piece of countryside life in the beautiful mountains of Yoshino and learn about a craft that is special to the area.
For more information and to register for the tour, please follow this link: http://nara-experience.com/detail/index/242
The rainy season has returned. This wet weather creates deep green landscapes and is also ideal for creating perfect hydrangea flowers, which now can be found in full bloom around the Nanamagari area of Yoshinoyama in various shades of blue, white and purple. Why not come and check them out for yourself? Just remember to bring an umbrella, just in case!
Good news for those interested learning more about local Yoshino. Special tour experiences are being put together with an emphases on highlighting the many diverse and fascinating traditions found in this beautiful mountainous region. Furthermore, these tour experiences will have English language support.
For information on the current tour experience being offered by the Yoshino Visitors Bureau, please visit:
(select English at the top of the page for English language)
This tour is comprised of a special goshuin making experience listed for 5/22/2018 in the area of Yoshinoyama. A goshuin is a traditional book used for collecting stamps from temples and shrines, which are often very beautiful and elaborate in there design ascetics and calligraphy. To easily sign up to join for this experience, you can visit the website page listed above. Please note that this is not a free tour.
Please check back soon for more information on future tour opportunities being offered by the Yoshino Visitors Bureau.
The cherry blossoms of Hozen-ji Temple, located in the Iigai area of Yoshino, is looking great today. Soon, the cherry trees throughout the rest of Yoshino will be blooming as well.
This week is turning out to be a perfect time for "hanami" or flower viewing in the garden of this old temple. The amazing atmosphere created by these trees is definitely worth the trip!
The first blooms of the sakura (cherry) trees are beginning to open up to welcome the warmer weather in Yoshino. Today (3/23), the beautiful pink flowers of the sakura tree located in front of the Yoshino Town Hall is giving all of us a pleasant feeling of spring.
It looks like this year is turning out to be an early year for sakura flowers in Yoshino. The forecast for the blooming of the sakura groves in Yoshinoyama is as follows:
Shimo-senbon sakura grove:
3/26 - Start of flower blossoming
4/1 - Flowers at full bloom
Naka-senbon sakura grove:
3/28 - Start of flower blossoming
4/3 - Flowers at full bloom
Kami-senbon sakura grove:
3/30 - Start of flower blossoming
4/5 - Flowers at full bloom
Oku-senbon sakura grove:
4/4 - Start of flower blossoming
4/10 - Flowers at full bloom
3/26 - Start of flower blossoming
4/1 - Flowers at full bloom
Of course, these dates are only meant to be taken as rough predictions and the actual dates of sakura flower blooming will be dependent on the nature of the spring season. Please contact the Yoshino Visitors Bureau for up-to-date information and check back on our page as well.
Regardless of when the sakura flowers arrive, get ready for another beautiful spring in Yoshino!
Last week, the Kiomihara Shrine in the Kuzu district of Yoshino held its annual Kuzuso festival, during which prayers are conducted for good luck and prosperity for each month of the new year and for visitors to the festival. The ritual is performed through careful traditional movements which resemble a slow dance along with the recitation of "jumon" or "words of power."
The Kiomihara Shrine is an ancient place of worship whose origin is said to date back to the legendary Emperor Ojin and is located at the end of a narrow path running alongside the sheer, rocky side of a small mountain. The area overlooks the blue waters of Yoshino river and makes for a beautiful place to visit for nature lovers or perhaps those just wishing to get off the beaten path a bit.
The Kuzuso festival occurs every year in accordance with the old Kyureki calendar and next year (2019) it will be held on February 18.
The Setsubun festival (2/2 - 2/3), celebrating the coming of the spring season was celebrated last weekend on Yoshinoyama. This festival, combined with the simultaneous events of Oni Fest 2018, made for a wonderful time for all to experience.
The oni (or "demons"), fleeing as they were cast out from their abodes all throughout Japan, arrived in Yoshino and embarked on an evening parade up and down the main street of Yoshinoyama, getting into various forms of mischief and barging into local guesthouses and restaurants. The parade concluded with an exciting drumming performance before Kinpusen-ji Temple's Zao-do Hall. The wooden frame of the central drum of the set was explained to be a 1000 year old instrument. Wow!
The next day,the oni returned to Zao-do Hall and through the prayers of the Shugendo monks, their hearts were converted to the ways of good. A special goma fire ceremony and soy bean-tossing event were also held to welcome in the new year. There was even a lottery for those in the crowd who managed to grab a bag of beans.
Lastly, the event wrapped up with a special buffet of delicious local food organized by the local female guesthouse managers of Yoshinoyama.
Thank you to all who came out to Yoshinoyama last weekend and and we are all looking forward to the return of the festival again next winter. But for now, with the passing of Setsubun, the cherry blossom season approaches!
Happy holidays from the town of Yoshino!
As we get deeper into the winter season, Oni Fest 2018 in Yoshinoyama approaches. The festivities will begin on 1/13/2018 and conclude on 2/12/2018.
Although the celebration of Setsubun in Japan normally involves the cleansing ritual of casting out of oni (a creature resembling a demon), using the words "Oni out! Luck in!," in Yoshinoyama oni are welcomed into the community and celebrated with the words "Luck in and oni in, too!" In this old Yoshinoyama tradition, the welcomed oni work to cleanse the area of evil.
Oni Fest will feature traditional events, activities and special prices for staying overnight in one of Yoshinoyama's inns for overseas visitors (plus English language tours). For more information, please contact the Yoshino Visitors Bureau.
The schedule of events for the 2018 holiday of Setsubun is as follows:
19:00 ~ 20:00 Oni Parade from Chikurin-in to Kinpusen-ji.
20:20 ~ Drumming ritual at Kinpusen-ji
2/3/2018 at Kinpusen-ji:
11:00 ~ Oni dance
12:00 ~ Large goma fire ceremony
13:00 ~ Bean throwing, lottery drawing
Come out and enjoy the winter season in Yoshinoyama and embrace your demons!
Yesterday, Dainichi-ji Temple, located on Yoshinoyama, had its annual Hiwatari Ceremony. The word "hiwatari" refers to the act of walking barefoot over a bed of burning hot coals as form of spiritual practice / training in the Shingon Buddhism faith. Members of the public are invited to participate in the special ceremony and I myself was thankful to be able to try it as well.
Hiwatari is held every year on November 23rd at Dainichi-ji Temple. The ceremony begins at 1pm with a goma fire ritual, after which the coals leftover from the fire are used in the act of hiwatari. I highly recommend participation in this amazing ceremony to anybody who has an interest in taking an active approach to learning more about Buddhism in Japan.
When the rains come so too does incredible scenery in Yoshino's mountain environment.
This photo of Yoshinoyama amidst a beautiful unkai, or "sea of clouds" was taken after the rain stopped yesterday morning from the Hanayagura viewpoint. Rainy days in Yoshino-cho are yet another opportunity for a great view and a nice photo.
The autumn colors have arrived in full force on Yoshinoyama! The daylight is decreasing but not to worry, the colorful views continue into the evening during Yoshinoyama's autumn illumination period (11/3 - 11/26). Beautiful!
(Edit: Please note that all photos featured in this post were taken in the past in the Yoshinoyama area by a professional photographer.)
(UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to road conditions in Kuzu, the drum mikoshi palanquin carrying has been cancelled for Kuzu's Fall Festival.)
The autumn festivities around the town of Yoshino continue!
This month on 11/23, the district of Kuzu will be having its autumn festival event featuring the carrying of large traditional mikoshi drum palanquins around the streets of the beautiful riverside community.
The event begins with the preparation of the mikoshi in the morning, followed by the procession of the mikoshi throughout the day. Several different teams will participate from different parts of the district of Kuzu.
For those who want to watch the exciting festivities alongside nice views of the fiery mountainside colors of fall, come upriver to Kuzu on 11/23!
* Please note that in the event of heavy rain or other community affecting event, the Kuzu Fall Festival may be cancelled.
Yoshino Festival 2017 will be happening next month on 11/3 and 11/4 in the Kamiichi area of Yoshino-cho.
Events and features include street illumination (11/3), access to the Marugoto Bar at Guesthouse Sankirou (11/3), a local food booth market (11/4), paper lantern making workshops (11/4), live music(11/4), and so much more!
For access, take the train to Kintestu Yamato-Kamiichi Station and head east (upriver). The events will all be taking place in the area near the Yoshino-cho Town Hall.
November approaches and with it, beautiful fall colors all around the town of Yoshino.
From 11/3 to 11/26 the area of Yoshinoyama will have its Koyo Light Up event. LED lights will be up and shining to highlight the colors of the season at 5 different locations in Yoshinoyama, including the Shimasenbon area next to Yoshino Station and at Kinpusen-ji Temple's Niomon Gate. The time of illumination runs from 17:00 to 21:00.
Don't miss the chance to experience the wonderful autumn atmosphere on Yoshinoyama!
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