Mount Yoshino, located in the Nara Prefecture of Japan, is probably most famous for its many thousands of sakura trees. Every year during Hanami, it becomes a hub of activity as travelers from all over the globe flock to see the beautiful blooming cherry blossoms.

Arriving at the nearest train station, we took a bus to the main drop point in Yoshino Town, and spent the next few hours making our way to the top while enjoying the incredible views along the way.

As the hours passed by and sunset approached, we noticed that everyone was climbing down the mountain and we were the only ones still going up. By the time we reached this viewpoint — about an hour before sunset — the entire area was a ghost town. Hmmm, I thought. I probably should’ve checked the bus schedule…

Sure enough, by the time we returned to the drop point we had missed the final Sunday bus by over 3 hours. Left with no other option, we began the long walk down the mountain.

We walked, and walked, in nearly complete darkness for a couple of hours, guided only by the light of our headlamps, until eventually we came to a stretch of road with light car traffic. By then we agreed it was time to hitchhike.

After about an hour sticking our thumbs out at the passing cars (a gesture that I was hoping wasn’t an insult in Japanese), a nice woman picked us up and took us the rest of the way down to the train station, still a good 20 minute drive away.

I guess that’s why you don’t see too many sunset shots from Yoshino Mountain. 😉

Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 40 mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/11
5 Bracketed exposures

Technique: Digital Blending and Luminance Masking

Hardware: 15” 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Espresso: Lavazza Oro

Sacred Mountain - Yoshino - Japan