At the end of my trip, I reached Mt. Yoshino, a sacred mountain located literally at the center of Nara prefecture.
To tell the truth, Mt. Yoshino was not on my list of destinations because I thought Nara prefecture was a bit far from Kyoto. But I happened to stay at Osaka to meet my friends yesterday. Then I thought that it might be easier to go to Mt. Yoshino from here.
It turned out that it only takes less than 1,000 yen. I've got a pamphlet of beautiful Mt. Yoshino from the clerk in Kyoto, too. I decided to go there by the first train, hoping to see the best autumn colors of the west.
I arrived at Yoshino station at around 7 o'clock. I felt a bit cold in the outside while finding nobody around me. It is like I'm having all of Yoshino to myself!
I was amazed to see this Japanese maple tree in front. It looks heavy and gorgeous as if it were telling me that my decision to come here was right. Ah, I found one man walking in front of me.
The view from the cable car was just spectacular. It is easy to see how the station is surrounded by a bunch of autumn colors.
The street runs in the town of Yoshino. You will find a lot of souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels while walking here.
Even though the street runs in the town, the town itself lies in the mountain. I found some clouds below me. The clouds make me feel that I'm in the mountain!
I dropped in at an observation platform and saw the whole view of Yoshino. The town of Yoshino is surrounded by autumn colors. This town will have the peak period from now.
Yes. I did think so. I didn't think at that time that Mt. Yoshino was welcoming the peak period of autumn colors. This is why the next view astonished me.
Japanese maple trees show beautiful colors at the slope. Just amazing... The leaves are purely red and the street is decorated by some red fallen leaves. It is like leading to heaven.
I shooted the leaves themselves. It told me again that Japanese maple leaves in mountainous areas are well-arranged in shapes and colors.
I walked down the slope and looked back. Red colors of Japanese maple trees and orange colors of Sakura trees are creating a fantastic view.
I'm going deep inside the forest. The atmosphere of the street is completely changed. The last destination is nearby.
After going through the forest, this colorful view welcomed me! This is the entrance of my last destination, Saigyoan.
Before going directly to Saigyoan, I went down to the bottom of this valley. A lot of trees are cut down here. People told me that there were Japanese cedar trees. They also told me that Sakura trees are going to be planted here. Definitely, Saigyoan will be an amazing spot to see Sakura in a few years.
I finally arrived at Saigyoan! A big Japanese maple tree is... you know, how should I explain how wonderful it is. The tree is dominating the atmosphere of Saigyoan. Just amazing. I deeply believe that the autumn colors of Mt. Yoshino is one of the best in Japan. It is hard to say which is better among Kyoto and Yoshino, but if you consider the balance of the number of visitors and the quality of autumn colors, I definitely recommend Yoshino to you.
Saigyoan itself is a humble cottage of a monk named Saigyo. He spent three year at this cottage. It must be nice to leave the everyday world and enjoy the seasonal changes of nature.
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