The only wood of its kind in the world.
The only tradition of its kind in the world.




Japanese cedar and Japanese cypress are Japan’s most representative evergreen conifers.
In particular, cedar and cypress trees which are grown in Yoshino, in Japan’s Nara Prefecture, are known as “Yoshino wood” and are celebrated as superior japanese timber.
The distinctive characteristics of this wood are uniform and dense annual rings, few knots and a beautiful color.
It is believed that the first trees planted in Japan for commercial afforestation purposes were in Yoshino area about 500 years ago.
As a result of a distinguished forestry tradition that continues to this day, “Yoshino wood” is created through endless efforts across several generations.

About Nara:
Japan’s first capital, it served as the easternmost station on the Silk Road and it boasts the world’s oldest wooden building, Horyuji Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site)


Blessed conditions

Forests occupy about 77% of Nara Prefecture’s total area. Yoshino, located in the southern part the prefecture, is blessed with very favorable climatic conditions for the growth of cedar and cypress trees, namely an annual rainfall of 2000 mm or more, an average temperature of about 14℃, relatively few typhoons and a winter snow accumulation of 30 cm or less.
Additionally, the soil is abundant in rocks containing minerals like limestone and rich in nutrients necessary for plant growth, including potassium phosphate and silicates.
Yoshino’s blessed natural conditions nurture high-quality “Yoshino wood”.


The only tradition

Dense annual rings

The effects of planting many trees and thinning them out frequently

YOSHINO WOOD Grown in Nara

Planted trees
per hectare

General practice
ABOUT 3,000 ABOUT 3,000
ABOUT 10,000 ABOUT 10,000

Years until
final cutting

General practice

Planting trees closely together prevents them from growing too wide in diameter and ensures a dense wood grain. It also ensures that the bottom and the top sections of the trunk have approximately the same diameter.
After having been planted, trees are carefully and repeatedly thinned out over a period of 100 or 200 years to ensure that they grow into selected high-quality wood.

Few knots Few knots

Few knots

Each and every tree in a vast forest is individually and meticulously cared for in a variety of ways. One of these is pruning, in which extra branches growing out of the trunk are removed manually. Careful pruning in a timely fashion allows the trees to grow uniformly and with few knots.
In addition, they are grown upright, which ensures straight and beautiful wood grain.

Attractive color Attractive color

Attractive color

Yoshino wood has been admired for many years for its beautiful color and luster,and for this reason it has been widely used as a high-end interior material.
In particular, a technique called hagarashi (lit:“drying with leaves on”), consisting in laying them to dry on the forest floor with the leaves attached, is used. This way, moisture from inside the trunk drains slowly through the leaves, giving the wood an especially beautiful color.

Other characteristics

Strong and supple
Strong and supple
Pleasant to the touch
to the touch
Resistant to mold,E.Coli and viruses
Resistant to mold,
E.Coli and viruses
Soothing scent
Soothing scent



500-year old forestry

Yoshino area is the first place in Japan where trees were planted for commercial afforestation purposes, with records showing that trees were first planted here around 1500 AD.
Staring from the second half of the 16th century, Yoshino wood began to be used in the Kyoto-Osaka region for erecting temples, shrines and castles, most notably Osaka Castle and Fushimi Castle.

Lumber transportation by rafts(at Yoshino River)

500-year old forestry

Yoshino area is the first place in Japan where trees were planted for commercial afforestation purposes, with records showing that trees were first planted here around 1500 AD.
Staring from the second half of the 16th century, Yoshino wood began to be used in the Kyoto-Osaka region for erecting temples, shrines and castles, most notably Osaka Castle and Fushimi Castle.

Relationship with sake

Yoshino wood is “a straight-grained wood with few knots and dense annual rings,” properties that prevent liquids from leaking out. For this reason, it has been widely used for making sake barrels since the 1700s. High-quality sake from the Kamigata region (modern day Kyoto-Osaka area) was stored in Yoshino cedar sake barrels to be transported by ship to Edo (modern day Tokyo). During the storage, the scent of cedar wood would seep into the sake, giving it a unique scent and taste, which was particularly appreciated by the residents of Edo.


Examples of applications


(Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)

The main stadium used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Based on the design by architect Kengo Kuma and others involved, different varieties of timber from all over Japan were used in this stadium. In particular, Yoshino cedar was used for the interior of VIP and VVIP lounges.


Yoshino Cedar House

Yoshino Cedar House
(Yoshino Town, Nara)

An accommodation facility created by architect Go Hasegawa in collaboration with Airbnb.
It was built by local sawmills and carpenters using abundant quantities of Yoshino cedar and Yoshino cypress.


J of JINS Roppongi Hills store

J of JINS Roppongi Hills store
(Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Eyewear brand JINS’s new-concept store in Roppongi Hills aimed at high-end customers. The design is based on the Shoso-in treasure hall in Nara, and Yoshino cypress is used on every surface.

Interior and miscellaneous goods

2seater chair
Photo: Katsuhiko Tsujimoto

2seater chair “muji” (studio Jig)

A two-seater chair that makes the best use of the distinctive “long-grain, knot-free” properties of Yoshino cedar. It was made with a technique called “free form lamination” in which multiple thin veneers are stacked, laminated and crimped, making it possible to model wood freely.

Interior and miscellaneous goods

petal high stool

petal high stool (Mokkou Mori)

A chair made by shaping Yoshino cedar by plane. The radiance and texture created by shaving the surface of the wood with a plane, without using sandpaper, bring out all the charm of Yoshino cedar.

Interior and miscellaneous goods


izr9 (Izuru)

An unusual three-legged chair that takes advantage of the strength, tenderness, and beauty of Yoshino wood. The main structure is in Yoshino cypress, which has a distinctive smooth texture,while Yoshino cedar, which is comfortable to sit on, is used on the seating surface.

Interior and miscellaneous goods

Tea bowl

Tea bowl (Apple Jack)

This bowl was made by hollowing out a block of Yoshino cedar on a potter’s wheel. It makes the most of Yoshino cedar’s warmth and the beauty of its wood grain, and it’s given a thin and light finishing by expert craftsmanship.

Interior and miscellaneous goods

Aroma lamp

Aroma lamp (Akari Yoshino)

An aroma lamp made by hand-laying thinly cut Yoshino cypress on top of Yoshino’s traditional handmade Japanese paper. Its soft light and the pleasant scent of Yoshino cypress oil create a soothing atmosphere.

Interior and miscellaneous goods



A bento (lunch box) made in traditional magewappa style by bending thinly processed wood. It allows one to fully appreciate the beautiful grain and the faint scent of Yoshino cedar.

Interior and miscellaneous goods

Contact us

Nara Prefectural Government
Nara Wood Brand Division,Water Cycle, Forest, Landscape and Environment Department
30 Noborioji-cho, Nara-shi

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