Top things to do in Yoshino

Top Choice Temple in Yoshino


Kimpusen-ji, founded in the 7th century, is believed to be the incubator of Shugendō, a unique Buddhist sect that incorporates Shintō traditions and Taoism and is associated with the storied yamabushi (ascetic mount…
Shinto Shrine in Yoshino


It may not look like much, but this shrine, founded roughly 1300 years ago, has a serious historic pedigree: it has harboured general Minamoto Yoshitsune (taking refuge from his murderous brother Yoritomo, the first…
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 the kuzu transforms from starch to edibles (a simple English translation explains the process). Then t…
Sushi in Yoshino

Kakinohasushi Tatsumi

This tiny, family-run takeaway shop serves kakinoha-zushi. Choose your fish – salmon (sake), mackerel (saba) or both (combi) – and quantity (the smallest set includes seven pieces). Look for samples and a wooden sus…
Cafe in Yoshino


Take a break and soak up some views at this traditional tea shop serving matcha and freshly made kuzubana (dumplings made from kudzu root – arrowroot – and sweet bean paste). There's a picture menu. Look for the rus…
Tofu in Yoshino

Tofujaya Hayashi

Run by a local tofu maker, this shop sells all sorts of soy-based dishes, from orthodox goma-dōfu (tofu made with ground sesame seeds) to more unexpected treats, like donuts. Vegetarians should double-check which di…
Buddhist Temple in Yoshino


How are the mighty fallen: this isolated and slightly forlorn temple, about 30 minutes on foot from central Yoshino, is the final resting spot of defeated emperor Go-Daigo. The Hōmotsu-den (Treasure Hall) preserves …
Shokudo in Yoshino


Beautiful valley views and home cooking, including noodle and tempura dishes. Look for the plastic food display.
Shokudo in Yoshino


One of Yoshino's larger restaurants, Harukaze serves both local specialities and shokudō (all-around, inexpensive restaurant) staples such as noodles and curry rice. Look for the ceramic tanuki (Japanese-raccoon-dog…