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

Born East of the Wall and South of Berlin, I am celebrating my 15th year anniversary in Japan in May 2020, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the beautiful Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home.I have been a JapanTravel Partner since the conception of the platform in 2011! In Tokyo I worked in market research at AIP Corporation and in business education at JMEC. For the last 10 years I have been a guide for foreign visitors at Venture Japan, on top of being a Freelance Writer and a Business Researcher.  Apart from work, I trained at the Yoshinkan Aikido Dojo and at the Oedo Sukeroku Taiko Dojo for several years each, and I ran the 1st Tokyo Marathon and enjoyed cycling around Tokyo. During the last 10 years I am working with local authorities to improve their hospitality to foreign visitors and I have participated in many monitors as a media representative.  My current 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 a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails  and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and licensed guide for Forest Therapy (Shinrin Therapy).  As a guide for walking tours, I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail and the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage trail.  Being grounded during this COVID-19 crisis, I enjoy gardening, baking bread in my new Japanese bread-maker and going for walks around 'my' village.  Take care, keep well, stay safe!