Finally I visited Yakushima!
I’ve been wanted to go this island for over 20 years, and finally I made it. 🙂
Originally I planned to visit in Aug, but due to a typhoon, had to postpone it to this Oct. But it was good cos there are relatively sunny days in Oct with comfortable temperature with fewer visitors. 🙂 Yup, you may want to avoid consecutive weekend like Silver week (around 21st Sep) and Sports Day weekend (2nd Monday Oct. ) I stayed for 6 days but it’s not enough to enjoy the whole island! I’ll definitely come back. This time I mainly enjoyed mountains, so maybe next time I’d love to go canoeing, snorkeling, diving, etc. too!
Yakushima is a breathtakingly beautiful island. Yakushima is Japan’s first UNESCO world natural heritage site registered in 1993. The registered area is 21% of the island, 107.42km2 out of around 500 km2 area.
It’s so enjoyable walking/climbing in the mountains as there are so many interesting trees and huge cedars.
Cedars live over 1,000 years in Yakushima called “Yaku-sugi”. (sugi means cedar in Japanese). You’ll have high chance to encounter Yaku-shika (deer) and Yaku-zaru (monkey) along the street/trails in the mountains. They might look at you curiously, but won’t attack humans so don’t worry!
Yakushima is water rich island with diversity of climate from subtropical (coast area) to subarctic (mountain area).
There are many spring water points in the mountains, so just bring a bottle when enter woodlands, no need to bring many water bottles. Even though it’s located at Southern part of Japan, there are heavy snows in the mountains.
This time, I went to Yakusugi-land ヤクスギランド, Ooko no taki 大川の滝(waterfall which selected as 100 waterfalls in Japan), Inaka-hama 田舎浜 (beautiful beach where sea turtles come to lay eggs), Shiratani Unsuikyō 白谷雲水峡(beautiful woodland where Gibri’s film: Mononoke-hime’s model scene) and Jōmonsugi trekking (22km, 8hrs hike to see charismatic old cedar, estimated age of 2170-7200 years). Although this trekking was very very tiring (started from 4am and came back to a hotel at 7pm! ), but Jōmonsugi was amazing and it’s Must see! I joined a tour with a guid. It costs around 10,000 yen and the guide pick you up to your hotel. But the guide tour is not a must to view the Jōmonsugi, you can go by yourself if you like and it’s up to you. You can also go Jōmonsugi from Shiratani Unsuikyō side too. There are several free mountain huts, so if you’re expert you may want to try many other mountains in this island too. The highest peak is Miyanoura-dake. As for Yakusugi-land, Shiratani Unsuikyō, Ooko no taki, Inaka-hama and some other places, you can go by local buses. There are bus tickets for visitors: 1-day (2,000 yen), 2-days & 3 days (3,000 yen) and 4-days (4,000 yen).
Please enjoy photos taken in Yakushima! 🙂
Yakusugi-land locates at 1,000m height area. Local bus can take you to the entrance of this woodland park.
On the way to Yakusugi-land, you may encounter YakuShika and YakuZaru 🙂 Please try to chat with the bus driver. He’ll give your time to take photos of the animals, plants & featured scenery.
Photos taken in YakusugiLand 🙂
Ooko no taki (大川の滝) and Inaka-hama(田舎浜)
Shiratani Unsuikyō (白谷雲水峡)