Having read a couple of books for the Japan’s hidden jewels, we stumbled upon Koyasan and Yoshino. Getting to Yoshino wasn’t easy – we used 3 trains and a cableway. It was totally worth it – Yoshino is an amazingly charming mountain village and the scene of one of the most famous cherry blossoms throughout Japan. The blossoming process happens in different levels and stages giving the opportunity to enjoy it for at least three weeks. We arrived by the end of the fourth week (global warming!) but beautiful nature remains beautiful no matter how many cherry trees have already finished blossoming.
We were lucky to stay at the best family hotel in Yoshino, the most of which was made by wood. Views lead us to the lower parts of the village and the endless cherry tree terraces. Our hosts outdid their hospitality (this is a big compliment in Japan) and almost made us not wanting to ever leave.
We were actually close to staying there for longer as we got very lost on a hill nearby the village. Yoshino from the inside was not enough for us so we got a map of nearby places of interest. After a quick bite in one of the many restaurants overlooking the abyss covered in trees and bushes we started climbing. We were passing improvised cafeterias with friendly locals offering coffee and tee as we were leaving the curvy streets of the village.
Maps can have this one problem – sometimes they are so stylized that even crazy imagination can’t help you. We were hiking uphill rarely passed by a motorcycle or and old bus. Stubborn we were and didn’t want to resort to hitchhiking this time. Saving energy and water, we were walking more and more uphill through endless coniferous forests. We were almost at the top but never there. After one or two hard decisions we reached a desolated monastery and the best view point. The reward was the panorama of Yoshino down in the distance, a vending machine and some shade. We met a Japanese guy – lonely lost hiker like us – who already had some friends in Bulgaria. 🙂
Did it worth it – the whole hike up?
In the room for socializing of the hotel we did a kimono photoshoot thanks to our lovely hosts who pampered our whims. This included the huge tasty dinner we had to wonder where in our stomachs to fit.
The goodbye photos with our hosts. The name of the one who reserved the room was specially painted with Latin letters so that you can easily find them. What a gesture to the guests!
We didn’t skip the restaurant with a million-dollar-view for breakfast. After exchanging some presents with our hosts we took off to the train station as we had a train to catch. A train to the famous Hakone circle and its wonders…
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