One of the most diverse and beautiful natural sites in all of Japan, Mount Yoshino serves up a different mood no matter the time of year. The view of the valley from the Hanayagura Observatory (花矢倉展望台) is one of the best spots in the country for drinking in the views. In the spring, tens of thousands of cherry blossoms explode on the face of Mt. Yoshino. In fact, the mountain is covered with roughly 30,000 cherry trees. In the fall, the mountainside is ablaze with fall foliage.
Telephoto lens (200mm)
Sneakers or mountaineering shoes
How to get there
N34° 21' 19.969"E135° 52' 18.5652"
This photo was taken from the Hanayagura Observatory overlooking Yoshino Mountain. You can get there by car or by public transport.
Take Route 169 in the direction of Mt. Yoshino and follow the road. You can find parking spaces near the observatory.
By public transport:
In Japan, you can use the Japan Rail Pass to get to many places. It's a joint collaboration with six railway companies and JR trains are often cheaper. To get to Yoshinoguchi Station by train using the JR trains. It will take around one hour from Nara, Kyoto, or Osaka.
Once you're there, you will need to take the Kintetsu Railway to Yoshino Station, which takes around 30 minutes. Kintetsu Railway is not included in the JR deals. You can find more information here: https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/about/station/route_map
To get to the observatory from the station, you will either need to walk (1 hour), take the bus (30 minutes), or call a cab. The last bus is quite early so I recommend getting to Yoshino Station as early as possible.
Once you're there, you will immediately recognize this view, which is right next to the coffee shop.
Get more with
Learn more about the locations and
how to get the best pictures including:
Best times to go
Current weather conditions and times around twilight