Asia,  Japan,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Mount Yoshino (Japan): 30,000 cherry trees in bloom

Today, we are motivated to go to Nara Prefecture, more precisely to Mount Yoshino, where we can see 30,000 cherry trees in bloom. The full-bloom period was a week ago, so we don’t expect to see 30,000 cherry trees in bloom, but a few thousand in bloom anyway 😀

Part 1: Travel Diary
Part 2: Practical Tips

Part 1: Travel Diary

How to get there?

We take the subway and then a local train to get there. There is a limited express which goes there, faster (of 15mn) but we did not manage well to buy the tickets. So we go there by local train by paying with our ICOCA prepaid cards. Cost: 1150yen one way. The station of arrival: Yoshino Station

Our journey

Arrived on the spot, we learn that the cable car doesn’t work, but that we can take instead a bus that takes us up to the top (at Nakasenbon Park). This bus leaves as soon as it is full (thus approximately every 10mn). The bus costs 340yen one way

We are also given a sheet with the itineraries that we can do on foot (click on the image below to zoom in). When we see that it takes us 53 minutes to go until the point where the bus goes, and that it begins to rain, we say to ourselves that it is better to take the bus then to go down on foot

15 minutes later, we arrive in a very small and cute village

There are a lot of people, I look left to right, I follow the people, and I still can’t see the cherry blossoms. I must admit that I am very disappointed. The day before, we were in Kyoto and we saw that after the full-bloom seen last week, there was almost nothing left in Kyoto, so here too, there must not be much left. Especially since it rained this morning and the wind brings with it a lot of cherry tree petals

2h the outward journey, 2h return not to see anything? I feel a little bit sorry for not having gone there earlier, I should have discovered this mountain a week earlier. It’s too stupid!

And then, from a parking lot, I can see the mountain at the top with a hundred cherry trees still in bloom. I remember that the map had mentioned “oku senbon”, 52 minutes walk from where I am. But we discover while walking in this direction that there is a bus that takes us to the top (400yen per person). And then we have to go down on foot

Since Oku Senbon, that’s what we’re supposed to see (if it was a full bloom)

Unfortunately, the waiting time (for the bus) is 45 minutes, and it rains intermittently. We decide to take the way to the left of the bus (it is by there where people get off on foot in fact) and we come across this

The sight satisfies me, I no longer wish to go up panting. One decides to go to eat something while going down slowly on foot

There are other trees still waiting for our arrival (how nice!)

The cherry petals, even fallen, remain too beautiful

Well, we didn’t see the same thing as the picture on the poster, but the village is charming and some cherry trees are still in bloom

It starts to rain quite hard and we take refuge in a small family restaurant, where we sit on the tatami, tasting small rice cakes accompanied by a hot oolong tea

Here in Japan, most restaurants offer oolong tea, I don’t see much matcha tea on the menu

We go down to Kinpusenji Temple. We pay a lot of money to enter there (1000yen) but this money will help them to restore the temple. The inside has some huge statues, but it is too dark to admire the details. In exchange, we are offered a rather pretty bag and a wooden lucky charm

From this temple you can see the whole Yoshino Mountain, and if the cherry trees were in bloom, yes, you would have seen thousands of cherry trees in bloom at once

What we were hoping to see

What we really saw

The view remains very nice

We even spotted a small house downstairs with a small japanese garden trooop kawaii (cute)

Before going down to the train station, it is necessary to take the zig-zag path (almost in front of Ryokan Kato) because this path is lined with cherry trees, it is magnificent!


We take again the train and it left for 2 hours of journey to Osaka. Even if we saw less cherry trees than we had hoped for, it did us a lot of good to breathe some fresh air and visit this charming village





Part 2: Practical Tips


  • Train from Osaka: 2300yen round trip/person
  • Taste the mountain: 800yen/person
  • Bus to Nanka Senbon: 340yen one way
  • Bus from Nanka Senbon to Oku Senbon: 400yen one way


  • It’s better to go first thing in the morning because most of our photos are out of date (taken around 1pm)
  • Then, from Oku Senbon, you can take a nice picture of the village in the afternoon and you won’t be out of daylight
  • Clearly, it’s better to go during the full bloom. Before and after, the mountain has less charm. To know if Yoshino is in full bloom or not, type “cherry blossom reports yoshino” on Google
  • I think we have to lower our expectations a little bit because we saw some full-bloom pictures on Instagram (a week ago) and despite the filters, it’s not as nice as the photographers’ pictures (which probably accentuated the colors with Photoshop). Even the postcards we saw on the spot, show that the cherry trees even in full bloom don’t have the same intensity as the photo we put at the top of this article.

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