Japan is a land of timeless traditions and breathtaking natural beauty. Yoshino-Kumano National Park is one of the most notable national parks in Japan and one that is particularly celebrated for its cherry blossoms. The famous cherry blossoms are one of the best reasons to explore Japan during the spring.
Yoshino is acclaimed as the best place in Japan to see wild cherry trees. Go in the spring, and the sight is certainly a captivating one. See how the entire slope of the mountain becomes coated in the color of the cherry trees as they are in bloom. Besides visiting this dreamy and romantic park, visitors to Japan should also drive the Romanic Road and see some more of the best the country has to offer.
Yoshino-Kumano National Park – One Of The Best Places In Japan For The Cherry Blossom
Yoshino-Kumano National Park (吉野熊野国立公園, Yoshino-Kumano Kokuritsu Kōen) was first established in 1938 and has parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
In the heart of the national park is Mount Yoshino. It is particularly famous for its cherry blossoms and is one of Japan’s most favored spring attractions. The mount is home to over 30,000 sakura flowering cherry trees, and these trees have inspired Japanese poetry and folk songs for hundreds of years. Cherry blossom is called “hanami.” In the spring, crowds gather at hito-me-sen-bon to see the beautiful display of nature.
The cherry trees are planted at four different altitudes in different groves. The result is that they bloom at different times in the spring. They are plants from the base to the precincts of the inner shrine up at the top of Yoshino.
The Yoshino-Kumano National Park is a land of staggering peaks and deep valley.
In the United States, the Japanese Garden of Oregon is one of the most authentic and dreamy gardens outside of Japan.
The Natural Wonders Of Yoshino-Kumano National Park
Besides the cherry trees, there are plenty of attractions in the park. See the Nachi Falls, Dorokyo Gorge, the Sandanbeki Cliff, and even endangered black bears. Gaze out over Mt. Kongou and Mt. Katsuragi from the observatory.
Omine Mountain Range:
The Omine Mountain Range is known as the Roof of the Kinki Region. It is a place for spiritual mountain climbing as well as hiking. Notable peaks include Mt. Shakagatake, Mt. Hakkyogatake, and Mt. Sanjogatake (which is the birthplace of the Shugendo school of Buddhism).
Mt. Misen and Mt. Hakkyogatake:
Here visitors can see temperate mixed needle-leaf and broadleaf forests with subalpine coniferous forests. The forests are also home to the endangered Asian black bears.
This plateau boasts a number of waterfalls, precipices, and stunning formations that have been created from erosion over the eons because of the huge about of rainfall in Japan. The Nachi Falls in the park is Japan’s tallest waterfall.
Dorokyo Gorge is located on the majestic Kitayama River. The gorge has vertically sheared cliffs, magma rock, bizarrely shaped rocks, deep pools, and more. It is one of the most scenic attractions in the park.
Activities & What To See & Do In Yoshino-Kumano National Park
Besides seeing the annual cherry blossoms, following the pilgrimage road, and learning about the shrines of the park and about Japanese Buddhism. The park has three Japanese shrines – the Kumano-Hayatama, Kumano-Hongu, and Kumano-Nachi. They are located on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route.
Of these shrines, Kumano-Hongu has traditionally been known as a spa area. Resorts to explore there include the Kawayu Onsen Resort, Yunomine Onsen Resort, and Watarase Onsen Resort. The best onsen in Japan is considered to be the Kusatsu Onsen, with its own unique traditions.
One of the trails to hike in the park is the Kinki Nature Trail. It is a beautiful trail with views of the Karekinada Sea. Other activities in the park include snorkeling and seeing the coral and fish on the coast, and rafting on the rivers.
Those who would like to see traditional Japanese villages stuck in time should consider visiting the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama. Japan is a rewarding country with endless things to see and explore.