A Travellerspoint blog

Just Another Sightseeing Day

The Cherry Blossoms of Yoshino

sunny 19 °C

It is claimed that there are thirty thousand flowering cherry trees in the Kii mountains surrounding Yoshino in Eastern Japan, so it’s not surprising that legions of people flock from all over the world to witness the Mankai – the moment of perfect blossoming. We had already experienced that magical moment in Kanazawa and knew that Yoshino’s blossoms were past their prime, but we stuck to our plans and caught the local train from Nara…
We hit the ground early to avoid the crowds, as we do on most days, and spent two hours on three different trains before we began a tortuous bus ride up the mountain on a couple of buses. After just three hours we experienced views like this…
While the cherry blossoms may have faded, the mountains looked resplendent in their spring green coats under a perfect sky. Though we couldn't escape the crowds altogether...
Once we had the cherry pics in the bag we had to walk 10 kilometres up and down, (and back up and back down again), to visit the mountain's shrines and temples; like the Kinpusen-ji, the second largest wooden building in the world…
Here the monks were parading with their elaborate conch horns…
James was invited to play one and to everyone’s surprise played a very tuneful duet…
Every day tens of thousands make the trip up the mountainsides of Yoshino to visit the sacred places and to see the cherries in bloom. The Mankai was early this year so many people were disappointed, but there is always the roast chestnut lady to cheer folk up…
By the end of the afternoon we were beginning to flag so we started our return journey to Nara. These Japanese ladies did what so many Japanese do on trains – they slept…
All that was left for us to do was to visit the herd of deer that live in the park surrounding the Tōdai-ji temple in Nara. These deer are fed biscuits by tourists and have learnt the Japanese art of deeply bowing in order to show respect – and to get another biscuit…
No biscuits for us – just delicious tonkatsu… deep fried pork, shrimp and crab in a crisp panko crust for dinner. Will this fabulous food ever end?

Posted by Hawkson 06:28 Archived in Japan

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I cant believe the amount of food you folk have devoured. But I am sure you have lost it climbing up and down the mountains. Looking forward to your return and the stories you can tell us at Book Club. love

by Jean McLaren

Wonderful adventures.No photos of Jim asleep on the train with the ladies, but having a deer show respect for a biscuit is something.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Double 10K up and down! Sounds like a Jen and Andrew outing. Amazing you had enough wind left to blow the horn. Great photo of the napping (older?) ladies and the young woman wide awake and focused on her digital device.

by R and B

Very interesting and entertaining Japan Blog and the photos were beautiful. My single Japanese cherry tree is about to bust into flower.
Have a good flight home.

by Christine Lloyd

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