Cherry blossoms are the symbol of the spring season in Japan. No site is more famous for its profusion of blossoms than the Yoshino hills south of Nara. One hundred thousand trees, mostly yamazakura (white mountain cherries), burst into bloom for two short weeks in early April. The original groves were said to have been planted by a Buddhist priest in the late seventh century. They were consecrated to the god Zao Gongen and new trees were planted from time to time until the entire hillside was covered. Yoshino has long been celebrated for its beauty in Japanese poetry.
The autumn counterpart to Yoshino is the scenery of the Tatsuta River, Kyoto, here visualized on the back panels on the interior of the cabinets. The stands of red maples and leaves flowing on the current of the river, like the scenery of Yoshino, evoke literary and pictorial themes.