Top things to do in Yoshino

Temple in Yoshino

Kimpusen-ji

A national treasure and Unesco World Heritage Site, this is the head temple of Shugendō, a sect based in Buddhism but borrowing liberally from other traditions. Check out the fearsome Kongō Rikishi (guardian figure …
Shinto Shrine in Yoshino

Yoshimizu-jinja

This shrine on the Unesco World Heritage List was for centuries a refuge for important historical figures. It now displays scrolls, armour, nō (stylised dance-drama) masks and painted fusuma (sliding doors) from tho…
Buddhist Temple in Yoshino

Nyoirin-ji

This marvelously atmospheric temple, about 30 minutes on foot from central Yoshino, preserves both the relics of Emperor Go-Daigo's unlucky court and his tomb. In the Hōmotsu-den (treasure hall) is a trio of scroll …
Sushi in Yoshino

Kakinohasushi Tatsumi

This tiny, family-run takeaway shop serves about the simplest menu in town: kakinoha-sushi, a local speciality of pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves. Choose your fish – salmon (sake), mackerel (saba) or both …
Cafe in Yoshino

Hōkon-an

In business since 1950, this atmospheric little tea shop with great views lets you try matcha (hot or iced) and kuzubana, dumplings made from kudzu root and homemade sweet bean paste made fresh daily. There's also k…
Sweets in Yoshino

Nakai Shunpūdō

You can watch the chef make kuzu (arrowroot gelatin) sweets in the shop window here – it's kind of like magic as it transforms from starch to edibles (simple English translation explains the process). Then try it as…
Tofu in Yoshino

Tofujaya Hayashi

One of Kansai's most unusual restaurants makes unexpected creations out of tofu: hanbāgā (hamburgers); rāmen topped with fried tofu strips, yuba (tofu skin) and green onion; even dōnatsu (doughnuts). For dessert: so…
Shokudo in Yoshino

Harukaze

With a limited picture menu, this restaurant serves a gomoku-gohan (five-flavoured rice; ¥950) and other typical lunch favourites like noodles and curry rice. Look for the ceramic tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) figur…
Shokudo in Yoshino

Nishizawaya

Run by a bunch of friendly ladies, this homey restaurant serves comforting udon, soba (get either in a set menu with tempura for ¥1200) and beautiful valley views. Look for the plastic food display.