Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sakura in Yoshino - 吉野の桜


金峯神社 (Kinpu Shrine)

奥千本への道 (Road to Okusenbon)

奥千本 (Okusenbon)

西行庵 (Saigyou-an Shack)

西行庵 (Saigyou-an Shack)

水分神社 (Mikumari Shrine)

水分神社 (Mikumari Shrine)

花矢倉1 (Hanayagura)

花矢倉2 (Hanayagura)

花矢倉3 (Hanayagura)

花矢倉4 (Hanayagura)

花矢倉5 (Hanayagura)

混み合う下千本通り (Busy street)

April 13 in the morning, we went to Mt. Yoshino. The season of sakura was in its latter part, thus we aimed Kamisenbon and further up. We took bus to Kinpu Shrine and walked to Saigyo-an. It was a tiny shack in rustic but tasteful area, and we spoke to an elegant lady of old couple who confessed that she had an unsuppressible desire visiting this Saigyo’s place. Very good indeed, but for typical tourists, the distance with ups and downs might be excessive, and the reality is “where the heck is Okusenbon (literally thousand trees further up)?” Originally, I thought of visiting Saigyo-an in the autumn and did not intend to visit it this time.
In short, the ultimate tour for sakura in Yoshino is to directly visit Hanayagura and stay there or walk by there. The color gradation in the slopes is marvelous and never tiring. Among many shrines in the mountain, I would recommend Mikumari Shrine for its cute garden and very old building. The street was packed and we were like trying to swim against the stream to catch 3 o’clock train back home.

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