When I was back in Italy, I studied some Japanese Literature and I got to know the name “Yoshino”
as an epitome for beautiful cherry blossoms. But I would have never thought that one day I would
have visited and now I feel very grateful and lucky to have gone in such a wonderful place.
During our stay Yoshino, we were asked to collect ideas observations about the place in order to
advise the locals on how to attract more foreigners and in the following lines I’d like to express my
opinion on the matter.
Visiting Yoshino has both good and bad side for foreigners.
On the bad side, we should keep in mind that Yoshino is kind of off-handed and, for a foreigner
Who hasn’t any familiarity with the Japanese transportation system, quite difficult to reach.
On the good side, Yoshino is a quiet place, perfect to relax and enjoy a true taste of rural Japan.
Our staying at the ryokan was probably the best part of our trip, since the service was impeccable
and it made us feel really welcomed. The food was exellent and most foreigners would really like
to know what a real Japanese meal like like and how it is conducted. Peasonally, I really
appreciated our breafasts, since I’ve never eaten a Japanese breakfast before
The bath was also incredibly good experience, but some foreigners might feel a bit embarrassed
and would really appreciate a private shower in their rooms.
On our second they, we were split into four groups and each group experienced two particular
traditions of Yoshino. Our group did tofu making and waribashi making.
The waribashi making in the morning was particulary interesting, since we didn’t know much about it. It was very good to know, for istance, that those waribashi were made of unused part of tree that would be cut for building purposes. Personally, I think it would be a very enjoyable experience for families. Most of the machinery we used might be considerd dangerous for kids to use, but at the end of the waribashi making we also did origami to wrap them in it. It could be a good idea to let parents have their tour of the factory and enjoy their own made waribashi, while the kids
could do the origami that would later be useful for the waribashi their parents made.
The tofu making was also a very interesting experience. Most foreigners know what tofu is and how
good it is for one’s health, therefore they would really be interested in knowing how it’s made. But,
personally, I think the most interesting part was the little tofu-based lunch that we ate afterwards.
It was delicious and very instructive. Most people abroad don’t know about different types of tofu or
different ways to cook it and they would really enjoy knowing how to cook this healthy and delicious
Last but not least, the guidebook they gave us about Yoshino and its activity was very well designed and it really shows how beautiful Yoshino is in all seasons. I would like to do an observation about the little glossary at the bottom of same pages. It could be really useful, but it was all written in kanji and kana and most people don’t know them, so it could be useful to add some romaji to make more understandable. A little bit more of English in the activities’ explanations and conduct would be much appreciated.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed my stay in Yoshino and I’d like to heartly thank all the people that made in possible.
I am simply over joyed to have been given the amazing apportunity to visit Yoshino. The quiet beauty of the Japanese countryside was a nice change from the big city. Upon arriving in Yoshino I was in awe of the natural beauty that surrounded me. The Ryokan its self was stunning. Arriving at the Ryokan you immediately feel at home. The atmosphere is very caring and sweet, and the staff make you feel like family.
I loved all the excursions we went on. Learning about shitake mushrooms was both informative and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised with how much fun I was having. The garden felt especially Japanese to me. The tea ceremony at the end was a very nice touch, and I think many foreigners will enjoy.
Over all my experience in Yoshino was an amazing one. So naturally I would like to do as much as I can to help this lovely place. I think upon arriving in Yoshino foreigners might want a bit more time exploring the near by temples. Also more English as well as other languages would be very helpful. For example, I think most foreigners would benefit from English menus showing what they will be having for dinner. Also starting which foods are local grown and or organic will impress foreigners a lot. A vegetarian option will also be very helpful. I think most foreigners would enjoy a tour of the onsen. Since Japanese style baths are so different from Western style.
In addition to this more I feel foreigners would enjoy tours around Yoshino
because the area is so beautiful. Also more English or picture showing people what to do will defiantly help foreigners on excursions. But over all everything was near perfection.
First of all, I would like to say that I really appreciated everything about the tour in Yoshino. In Italy my home country, I had already head information about Yoshino, for example that it was the Japan’s most famous cherry blossom spot, that the area offered a rich history and several temples and shrines and also that it was famous for the pilgrimage to the sacred Mount Omine. But what I studied was nothing compared to what I have seen. I had a wonderful experience exploring for the very first time a Japanese inaka, also I could feel the sensation of stillness and nature all around me. In my opinion, that is the strongest point about Yoshino : it can offer such a unique landscape that would be impossible for a foreign tourist to not fall in love with this town in the Nara prefecture. Also as regards the landscape, I loved going to the Kimpusenji-temple on sun-set time:
colours were so bright, I would suggest to take foreign tourists at that time of the day in future tours.
I think that Yoshino has a really strong personality and uniqueness and the tour which I attended was just perfect and it reached the goal to make foreign tourists being able to find out the beauties of the land, for example the lunch we had in the shrine. First of all the obento was delicious, probably the quantity a little bit few for a foreign person, but as a whole experience I would give only good marks as it. Among the taiken we participated, my favorite one was Kudzu preparation: it was fun and very interesting.
But the best part of all and also the most charming for a foreign tourist is the stay at the ryokan.
That is exactly what a tourist is looking for when he/she decides to do a trip to Japan: as a unique country, people wants to discover and live the tradition and the ryokan is just the perfect where you can experience it. Also owners and everyone who worked in there were so kind, they can definitely deal with customers.
Maybe what I would suggest to change for future tours would be the time of breakfast, in my opinion too early. The right time would be from 8.00 to 9.00. Also, even though the first breakfast was very traditional and delicious, I would probably suggest to keep the “buffet option” so as everyone can choose freely what they like to have for breakfast(for example, not everybody at least Italians, may eat fish).