The Cherry Blossom Mountain,Yoshino 桜の吉野山

Yoshino Mountain covered with Wild Cherry Blossom.

 Precious Pink

 Cherry blossom is said “Sakura” in Japanese. Sakura was said just Hana ,means flower ,in ancient Japan. It means Sakura has been the most beloved flower in this country.After the massive earthquake hit north-east Japan March 11, blooming cherry blossoms in light pink color has seemed to be the icon of recovering from tragedy. Because we might find  life itself in that flowers  which bloom stunningly and fall down  just as quickly.

cherry blossom petals scattered on the all ground.

Beautiful Yoshino

“Whoa, Sakura soft ice cream ! Sakura rice cake!” Many sweets adopts design , color , taste of cherry blossom. As I love sweets actually, they catch my eyes , force me to stop in front of them when we walk along the street restaurants and souvenir shops line up. This is Yoshino mountain , famous for its 30,000 cherry trees.Yoshino town is in the middle of Nara prefecture. This area was called “Mi Yoshinoino”,means beautiful Yoshino, when Japan’s capital was Nara,because it was surrounded by deep nature and was an ideal resort for aristocracies fleeing from busy city.


Gate of Kinpusenji Temple where Zao-Gongen exits

Eccentric Monk and  Sakura

In 8th century , En-no-gyoja ,who was an eccentric Buddhism monk and the founder of “Shugendo” religion ,avoided pedantic Buddhism discipline in Nara and moved to Yoshino to practice intense ascetic in steep mountain range. Eventually he found his god “Zao-Gongen” and carved it in cherry tree. Started with this legend, people planted cherry trees on Yoshino Mountain as offering to their god. Since then people have visited here to  adore Zao-Gongen and plant young cherry trees. Historical figures visited to enjoy them such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi , one of the eminent samurai ruler in 16th century , took 5,000 followers to the mountain . Now  that this area is the north end of “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” registered as the world heritage in 2004 ,about 300,000 people come here a year.

Kudzu-kiri 550yen

Sweets Mountain

By the way, we ate some kind of sweets this day. Sakura soft ice cream,Sakura Yokan (sweetened and jellied paste bar including real cherry blossom petal), Kudzu-kiri(Japanese arrowroot starch cake dipped in melted brown sugar, Kudzu-mochi (Japanese arrowroot starch cake with soybean flour). Then finally  we bought Sakura rice cakes(pink colored rice cakes wrapped by real cherry leaf) as s souvenir for parents. If you come to Yoshino Mountain in cherry blossom season, Please try to eat these sweets !






「わ、桜ソフト! 桜もち!」桜のデザインや色、味を取り入れているスイーツがたくさんある。実は私は甘党なので、食堂や土産物屋が軒を連ねる通りを歩いていると、そんなスイーツにくぎ付けになる。ここは吉野山。約3万本の桜で有名な場所だ。吉野町は奈良県の中部に位置する町。飛鳥時代や奈良時代、吉野は「美吉野」と呼ばれた。深い自然に囲まれたこの地域は、都の貴族たちにとって忙しい毎日から逃れる絶好の保養地でもあった。






About kojiyoshimoto

Born in 1979 and grew up in Nara.Working for a city hall in Nara prefecture after 3 years carrier as an editor of design magazine in Tokyo. Hope my posts you inspire to go abroad to Japan!
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