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World Heritage / Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Criteria: (ii) (iii) (iv) (vi) | Date of Inscription: 2004 | Location: Mie, Nara and Wakayama Prefectures | Justification for Inscription

UNESCO

Things to see

Yoshino and Omine

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Mt. Yoshinoyama
Mt. Yoshinoyama
Kinpusen-ji temple
Kinpusen-ji temple
Located in the northernmost part of the Kii Mountain Range, Yoshino and Omine have many steep mountains reaching a height of over 1,000 meters with the northern sector being called Yoshino and the southern sector - Omine, and is an area whose combined landmass was worshiped as the first sacred mountain in the nation from the middle of the 10th century.
Yoshino was a once significantly sacred locale founded by En-no-gyoja (c. 7th - 8th century) of the Shugendo sect of Buddhism.
Walking along the pilgrimage routes over the mountains is called "Okugake" or "Mineiri" in the Shugendo belief that this is the most significant ascetic practice possible. The steep mountains themselves are covered with snow and ice during wintertime and were one worshipped as such. Omine Okugakemichi, one of the pilgrimage routes, runs through the mountains connecting many ascetic places, temples and shrines along the route but perhaps Yoshino today is a place most famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms.
Mt. Yoshinoyama
Mt. Yoshinoyama is a place sacred to the Shugendo and mountain worship.
Yoshino Mikumari jinja Shrine
The Yoshino Mikumari jinja enshrines the water related deities of Mt. Yoshinoyama.
Kinpu jinja Shrine
The Kinpu jinja enshrines minerals including gold.
Kinpusen-ji temple
Kinpusen-ji is the central temple of the Shugendo and was worshiped as such at the Shugendo Yoshino.
Yoshimizu jinja Shrine
Yoshimizu jinja was a central part of Kinpusen-ji and was used as a site of pilgrim accommodation before the Shintoism and Buddhism Separation Decree in 1868.
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