Private Forestry and Woodworking Tour in Yoshino
For over 500 years, the mountain foresters ("Yamamori") of Nara’s Yoshino region have produced fine cedar and cypress woodｓ from trees and requisite skills passed down through the generations. A Yamamori’s practice is imbued with reverence for nature, as reflected in their custom of offering a prayer of gratitude to the mountain gods before felling each specimen. Once trees have reached maturity after around 400 years, their timber is utilized in traditional architectural methods that grant superior longevity. The most notable example of this impressive technique and outcome being the Horyu-ji temple of Nara, over 1,300 years old and recognized as the world’s oldest extant wooden structure. In addition to larger construction, this wood is also used by Artisans to produce bowls and other vessels.
One-of-a-kind private tours introducing the area’s wood production are offered by a local company which uses Yoshino timber to create homes intended to last for three centuries. Participants meet a representative of the Yamamori of Yoshino, a master carpenter with decades of experience, and an artisan who uses Yoshino cedar for his carved creations.