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$51.27 Cultural & Theme Tours

Strolling around the Mountain Village of Yoshinoyama

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Kinpusenji Temple, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, KinkiAfter climbing up a slope by bus and on foot, we will arrive at the village of Yoshino which has developed on a ridge about 300 m above sea level. As we walk on the street lined with shops on the right and left, we will reach the imposing temple gate Nio (national treasure) with two powerful statues of Kongo Rikishi (fierce guardian gods) in it.The biggest building in the precincts of Kinpusen-ji Temple is the Zao-do Hall (national treasure) which is said to be the second largest wooden building in Japan. One wonders how people built this huge structure up on a mountain in the 9th century. Mountain monks of Shugen-do train and discipline themselves here and pray for people’s peace of mind. Devotional services take place every morning and evening, and we will watch the Goma (fire) offering starting at 11:00 am.From March 30th to May 5th the 7-meter tall, blue-skinned statues of Yao Gongen, the protector deities of the Yoshino area, can be seen by the public.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Noten Daijin Ryuoin Temple, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, KinkiAs we descend 460 steps from Kimpusen-ji Temple, we arrive at Noten Okami Shrine where the deity in charge of brain and head is enshrined. Various other deities are worshiped along the way. It’s a very special feeling descending into the bottom of the valley. This shrine/temple is a unique fusion of Buddhism and Shintoism.It's hard work to climb up the stairs again, so let’s take a break on the way.Duration: 1 hourStop At: YakkoSushi wrapped in persimmon leaves are a renowned Nara specialty. Your guide can tell you why this kind of sushi is popular in Nara. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Yoshimizu Shrine, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, KinkiWhen entering the old Shrine building you can see the lavishly decorated room where the Emperors of the southern court used to work. This place is also known as the site where the general of tragedy, Minamoto-no Yoshitsune, parted with his mistress, a story made into a famous Kabuki play. The general’s beautiful armor is displayed here.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Nakai ShunpudoVisit Nakai Shunpudo and observe the making of arrowroot cake. White arrowroot powder is transformed into a transparent sweet with a simple but rich taste. Eating sweets while overlooking the mountains of Yoshino will make your fatigue disapper.Afterwards we will walk back to Yoshino station, from where we’ll return to Osaka, Kyoto, or Nara on the 16:34 express.Duration: 1 hour

$64.20 Kid Friendly

Cherry Blossom from FIVE Different Angles

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Mt. Yoshino, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, KinkiMt. YOSHINO has been Japan’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spot for many centuries. It is said that the first trees were planted along its slopes more than 1,300 years ago, and today the mountain is covered by approximately 30,000 cherry trees of many different varieties, especially of the Yamazakura variety. Rather than a free standing mountain, Yoshinoyama is a north-facing mountain slope. It’s decided into four areas: the Shimo Senbon (lower 1,000 trees) at the base of the mountain, Naka Senbon (middle 1,000 trees), Kami Senbon (upper 1,000 trees) and Oku Senbon (inner 1,000 trees) at the top of the mountain. Visitors can enjoy the cherry trees as they ascend the mountain, passing Yoshino’s touristy town with its various temples and shrines, and enjoying hanami in the parks and viewpoints along the way. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Hasedera Temple, Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, KinkiThis temple is on the slope of a small mountain outside the city of Nara, and is famous as a temple where beautiful flowers bloom each season. It is often referred to as “Hana No Otera” (Temple of Flowers). You have a magnificent view of the cherry blossoms below from the butte stage that is built jutting out from the cliffs. The view that looks as if a pink carpet has been laid out is prettier than words can describe. Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Nara Park, Nara, Nara Prefecture, KinkiA popular tourist destination with World Heritage Sites such as Todaiji, Kofukuji and Kasuga-taisha within its massive grounds. The park has approximately 1,700 cherry trees of different varieties including Higan cherry, Yoshino cherry and Yamazakura mountain cherry, Narakokonoe cherry, weeping cherry and Satozakura cherry. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Himuro Shrine, Nara, Nara Prefecture, KinkiThe weeping cherry at this shrine is referred to as Nara Ichiban-zakura and is said to be the first cherry blossom to bloom in Nara. The tree that has the most magnificent flowers is a 100-year-old tree in front of Shikyaku-mon gate. Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Koriyama Castle, Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, KinkiKORIYAMA Castle, built in 1580, is one of the best sakura viewing spots in the prefecture. It is known as the gotenzakura (“cherry tree area of the palace”), adored by the people for over 400 years. Yamatokoriyama Castle Festival is held here, and visitors enjoy events such as the illumination of cherry trees, goldfish exhibitions, and parades. Duration: 30 minutes

$64.20 Kid Friendly

Mt. Yoshino - the Pink Carpet (Sakura) in NARA

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Mt. Yoshino, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, KinkiMt. YOSHINO has been Japan’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spot for many centuries. It is said that the first trees were planted along its slopes more than 1,300 years ago, and today the mountain is covered by approximately 30,000 cherry trees of many different varieties, especially of the Yamazakura variety. Rather than a free standing mountain, Yoshinoyama is a north-facing mountain slope. It’s decided into four areas: the Shimo Senbon (lower 1,000 trees) at the base of the mountain, Naka Senbon (middle 1,000 trees), Kami Senbon (upper 1,000 trees) and Oku Senbon (inner 1,000 trees) at the top of the mountain. Visitors can enjoy the cherry trees as they ascend the mountain, passing Yoshino’s touristy town with its various temples and shrines, and enjoying hanami in the parks and viewpoints along the way. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Hase-dera Temple, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, KantoThis temple is on the slope of a small mountain outside the city of Nara, and is famous as a temple where beautiful flowers bloom each season. It is often referred to as “Hana No Otera” (Temple of Flowers). You have a magnificent view of the cherry blossoms below from the butte stage that is built jutting out from the cliffs. The view that looks as if a pink carpet has been laid out is prettier than words can describe. Duration: 45 minutesPass By: Nara Park, Nara, Nara Prefecture, KinkiA popular tourist destination with World Heritage Sites such as Todaiji, Kofukuji and Kasuga-taisha within its massive grounds. The park has approximately 1,700 cherry trees of different varieties including Higan cherry, Yoshino cherry and Yamazakura mountain cherry, Narakokonoe cherry, weeping cherry and Satozakura cherry. Stop At: Himuro Shrine, Nara, Nara Prefecture, KinkiThe weeping cherry at this shrine is referred to as Nara Ichiban-zakura and is said to be the first cherry blossom to bloom in Nara. The tree that has the most magnificent flowers is a 100-year-old tree in front of Shikyaku-mon gate. Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Koriyama Castle, Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, KinkiKORIYAMA Castle, built in 1580, is one of the best sakura viewing spots in the prefecture. It is known as the gotenzakura (“cherry tree area of the palace”), adored by the people for over 400 years. Yamatokoriyama Castle Festival is held here, and visitors enjoy events such as the illumination of cherry trees, goldfish exhibitions, and parades. Duration: 30 minutes