Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine is located on Mt. Yoshino, and is one of many shrines and temples on the mountain. It is located near the top of the mountain, accessible by ropeway.
Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine is a 15-minute walk from Yoshino Ropeway's upper station, the Yoshinoyama Station.
Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine was once attached to Shugendo Mountain Asceticism, but separated from it when the sect was briefly banned during the Meiji era (1868-1912). Kinpusan-ji Temple and Kinpu Shrine both returned to the sect when the ban was lifted, but Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine did not.
This shrine is connected to several important figures in Japanese history. Hideyoshi Toyotomi, one of the most famous leaders of Japan, came here several times to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the area.
In earlier times, Emperor Godaigo, who ruled in the 1400s, used this shrine and the area around it as an imperial court when he was forced to retreat from Kyoto for a short time.
Going back even further, Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine history says that Minamoto Yoshitsune, his lover, and their attendants hid here for five days. They were hiding from Yoshitsune's brother, who was afraid that Yoshitsune's popularity would encourage him to take over his brother's seat.
Yoshitsune was a real warrior from the 12th century. His brother may have been right to fear his popularity, which has continued to the present day. Many of the stories surrounding him have become almost mythical. Yoshimizu Shrine holds many relics related to Yoshitsune, including his armor. Kinpu Shrine claims a connection to the same historical legend.