Winter in Yoshinoyama

Enjoying a quiet time and a beautiful snow landscape

By Alena Eckelmann    - 1 min read

Yoshinoyama in winter does not see many visitors but if you love nature, temples and shrines, walking and eating, then you will enjoy a weekend here in January or February.

Here you will find the Zao Do, the main hall of Kinpusen-ji Temple. The large wooden structure visible from afar is Japan's second largest wooden building after Todai-ji Temple in Nara City. How about joining the Yamabushi monks at their morning or evening prayer at the Zao Do?

Don't miss the Setsubun (welcoming of spring) celebrations on Yoshino Mountain on February 3!

A perfect time for a quiet retreat on top of this 350m mountain, which is the gateway to the Okugake, an ascetic training trail for Yamabushi mountain monks.

Yoshinoyama and the Okugake trail, as well as the Kumano Kodo and Koyasan, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range".

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Celebrating my 10th year anniversary in Japan in May 2018, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home. I have visited all 47 prefectures of Japan and for the last 4 years I have worked as a guide for foreign visitors. My special interest is in Japanese nature and spirituality. I love spending time in the forest and mountains and I love visiting temples and shrines. I am also a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and guide for Shinrin Yoku (Forest Therapy).  In recent years I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail, the 88 temple pilgrimage trail around Shikoku Island and to Dewa Sanzan, the three sacred mountains in Yamagata Prefecture. If you look for nature and spirituality in your trip to Japan, then Wakayama, Nara and Yamagata Prefectures are ideal places to get started!