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Exploring the Pure Waters of Yoshino-gun Part 3: Oyodo Town



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Part 3 takes us to the small town of Oyodo, with a population of under 18,000, it is located in the center of the Kii Peninsula with Mt. Ryumon rising in the north, and the Yoshino River flowing to the south.



Oyodo is easily accessed from Osaka and serves as a bus terminal for hikers on their way to Mt. Omine.



If you pay close attention, you will also notice that the town's manhole covers are decorated with pears and sweetfish from the Yoshino River.




 


Rafting on Yoshinogawa River



If you are the type that likes to take life by the horns and enjoy a little adventure now and again, then rafting on the Yoshino river should be right up your alley.


This autumn we joined a rafting tour by Cococo Outdoor Tours. The tour is perfect for beginners and is available for anyone over 4 years old. Fun for all the family, a professional guide will accompany you, so even those of you that are not proficient swimmers or out of shape can participate safely.


The Yoshino river alternates between exciting rapids and beautiful calm emerald waters, where you are able to get into the water and splash around.


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The half-day rafting course costs ¥6,000 per adult and ¥5,000 per child. The full day course includes a BBQ lunch. Wetsuits are provided except in July, August and September. The guide will also take photos of your adventure which you can later download.


Tours operate between April 1st and the middle of November.

Reservation is required and if you need any help with this, please drop us a line at info@sarusawa.nara.jp and we will assist you.


Cocoro also offers ducky kayaking, canyoning, snow trekking and airboard sledding tours.



Other great companies that operate Yoshinogawa River Rafting and outdoor adventure tours include:



Evergreen Outdoor Planning Official Website

GAZILLA OUTDOOR TOUR Official website



Tour Company: Cocoro (ココロ 奈良ベース)

Address: 45-2 Sanate, Oyodo-cho, Yoshino District, Nara

Tel: 0747-55-4105 / 080-1416-5980

Hours: 9:00 – 18:00




 


Hakusui-en Pear Orchard's Pear Picking Experience

(博水園)



Blessed with abundant nature, pure water and rich soil, it's no surprise that Oyodo town is home to a number of fruit farms and orchards.


We decided to take a trip out to Hakusui-en, a pear orchard on the hill of Oada Highlands in Oyodo town. The orchard dates back to 1894 and now a total of 12 varieties of pears are cultivated here, including classics like Kosui, Nijusseiki, Hosui, and new varieties such as Akizuki and Kanta. Unlike western pears, Japanese pears are large and round and look more like a cooking apple than the bottom-weighted figure eight shape that westerns may be used to.




They are juicy without being watery, crisp without being acidic and possess a satisfying texture that sits perfectly between crunchy and melt-in-the-mouth.



As luck would have it, we timed our visit with bad weather, but that didn't stop us from having a blast roaming the orchard in search of the largest, freshest pears available. The staff provided us with giant raincoats which kept us completely dry and were super friendly and helpful throughout.




Access:





Address: 1168-2 Kusurimizu, Oyodo Town, Yoshino District, Nara

Tel: 0747-52-4180

Hours: 9:00 – 17:00

Closed: No holidays during pear picking season


Selling Season: July – December

Picking Season: August – November *Depends each year


Price for pear picking: Adult: 1,500 JPY with 5 pears / Child: 900 JPY with 3 pears

*The number of pears changes depending on the kind of pears.





 



Rider'z Cafe Vintage



"Rider’z Cafe Vintage" is an American-style diner in Oyodo town,Yoshino, situated alongside the Yoshino river. Authentic handmade burgers in a bright 1950s American style diner surrounded by vintage US paraphernalia. What else would you expect from the Japanese countryside?



Customers come from far and wide for Rider'z exquisite hamburgers, which have gained popularity through word of mouth. And as the name foreshadowed, it has become a popular stop-off point for motorcycle enthusiasts out exploring the Nara countryside.


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"Rider'z Cafe Vintage" was relocated and reopened in November 2019. The owner has spent a pretty penny amassing all the wonderful items in his restaurant, but what most caught our eye were the authentic pinball machines from the 1970s. What's more - they still work!




Access:






Address: 21-1 Shimobuchi, Oyodo Town, Yoshino District, Nara

Tel: 0747-55-4059

Hours: 10:00 – 20:00

Closed: Tuesday





 



Yoshino River Spring Water

(吉野川湧水) 



There are many places around Nara prefecture where you can enjoy natural spring water. This spring offers fresh spring water from the Yoshino river ideal for drinking and cooking - all completely free of charge! The water comes out at a nice pace, allowing you to easily fill up 10 liters in just a couple of minutes.



As there is space to park a couple of cars, locals will often stop by with several large containers to fill up and take home. Next to the spring, there are a couple of benches too, which make it a nice spot to have lunch with some fresh spring water and elevated views of the Yoshino river.



Access:





Address: Shimoichi, Yoshino District, Nara 638-0041, Japan



 


La Peche



La Peche is a cake shop that is just as famous for the lines of customers it generates, as much as it is for its highly sort after wares. They recently had to move premises because their previous shop, which was located on a fairly busy stretch of road in Yoshino, was so busy that a queue of cars waiting to get into the carpark would regularly cause major traffic jams. It got so bad that they even had to employ traffic wardens during their peak seasons.



As you can see from the video and pictures, by the time we arrived at La Peche (fairly early on a Friday morning) there was already a line of over 20 people waiting to get in. Sadly we didn't have enough time to wait around and actually buy any cakes, so after quickly shooting the interior we were forced to leave - frustrating empty handed and salivating.


The jewel in La Peche's culinary crowd is their Mont Blanc cake. Many cake connoisseurs from far and wide come to purchase this seasonal menu option - available only between September and April. The Mont Blanc that you see in their showcase is just a plastic sample. Each one is expertly made upon order, which no doubt adds to the wait time to get in and actually order something. The long showcase is chock-full of mouth-watering cakes and there is also a nice selection of baked bread and treats.





La Peche may be famous for its Mont Blanc cake, but interestingly, its their shu-cream (cream puffs) that are their number one seller. How they manage to maintain a juicy, creamy filling without compromising the crunchy textured exterior is a million-dollar trade secret!




Access:





Address: 3-8 Fukugami, Oyodo Town, Yoshino District, Nara

Tel: 0747-64-8988

Website: https://www.facebook.com/LaPeche.Nara/

Open Hours: 9:30 – 16:30

Closed on: Monday, Tuesday




Thanks for reading.

For more on this beautiful part of the world, see PART 1, PART 2 or PART 4


 

Author: NARA Visitor Center & Inn





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