April in Yoshino boasts over 30,000 blossoming cherry trees of various kinds, like shiroyama-zakura.
The mountainside is completely covered in these charming blossoms, which are somewhat different from the somei-yoshino cherry blossoms you often find in the city. Each year the flowers bloom in the beginning of April, but depending on the elevation the best time to view them differs. Starting from the bottom of the mountain and ending deep within the mountains, the cherry viewing season spans about one month.
Mount Yoshino is a designated World Heritage Site, and the view from Kinpusen Temple's Zao Hall is breathtaking. Allow me to tell you about it.
You can see the Myohoden three-story pagoda floating up from the mist like a watercolor painting. Emperor Godaigo once used this very pagoda. On this day I met a French couple as they were painting near the pagoda.
I looked at the man's picture and remarked, "What a pretty picture of the cherry blossoms!"
"The two of us are drawing pictures of the most magnificent time in Japan," he responded.
Yoshino's cherry blossoms... This is a place where you can really get lost in the sands of time as the blossoms dance toward the earth one petal at a time.
The more I walked around Yoshino the more I met with things which stirred my heart.