Trek and Water activities in the World heritage mystery island, YAKUSHIMA
Yakushima is an island with a perimeter of 130 kilometers located south of Kyushu. The island was formed by magma entering the seabed and becoming granite in ancient times. Because its mountains rise from the sea as if protruding into the sky, the island is sometimes referred to as the “Offshore Alps.” Water vapor from the warm sea around the island travels up the towering mountains and becomes rain clouds, resulting in what is said to be the heaviest rainfall in Japan. The abundant rain, which is said to fall “35 days a month,” nurtures the forests of Yakusugi and beautiful 1,000-year-old evergreen forests before becoming a river that sustains the people that live on Yakushima. Water from the river then flows back into the sea, where it is again turned into rain clouds that return to the island.
On this tour, you will commune with nature and experience the blessings of water and the life that it brings through various activities such as mountain climbing, nature walks, and river kayaking
- 1THE HOTEL YAKUSHIMA OCEAN & FOREST
- 2Nature Walk Spot
- 3Kurio River
- 4Mt. Kuromidake
- 5Yakusugi cedar Workshop
Group meets in Kagoshima & Transfer to Yakushima
You will begin by meeting your group at Kagoshima Airport for your flight to Yakushima Airport. If the weather is nice, you will be able to see smoke spewing from the volcano Sakurajima just below.
When you arrive at Yakushima, take some time during the 20 minute trip to the information center to get to know each other and look over the itinerary. The itinerary will be explained in detail at the center while looking at a map of the area. Now that you’re excited about your trip getting started the following day, check in at The Hotel Yakushima Ocean & Forest, which is where you will be staying while on Yakushima, so you won’t have to pack your luggage again every morning. You can also rent outdoor gear from the hotel.
Dinner will be served at the hotel, after which everyone will be dismissed early to prepare for the next day’s activities.
Guided forest walking
Today you will be given a chance to experience the environment created by the combination of Yakushima’s warm climate and abundant rainfall.
You will be dropped off by the western forest road about 1 hour from the hotel walk through the evergreen forest of the World Natural Heritage area to the coast for a round trip of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), taking two to three hours. You can see rich natural forests where people lived until about 50 years ago and the wild Yakushima macaques and deer that enjoy the forests’ bounties. If the weather is nice, you can also see the Island of Kuchinoerabu, a volcanic island that continuously spews smoke, from the coast.
You will take the day to go around the island counterclockwise. On the way, you will stop off at a beautiful sandy beach that is the best sea turtle spawning ground in Japan and at a shochu factory that makes a mellow-tasting shochu using the island’s abundant soft water. You will also get a thrilling peek at the Kurio River and Mount Kuromi, which are sites scheduled for later in the tour, and gain a better understanding of the island’s geography, nature, and environment.
For dinner, head to a Japanese pub near the hotel. Enjoy fresh fish and the local cuisine.
Guided river kayaking and stream climbing in Kurio river
This will be a day where you can experience the abundant and splendid waters of Yakushima.
There are two activities on the agenda: river kayaking and stream climbing. You will start at the Kurio River, which originates in Mount Kuromi where the main activity of the day will take place. The Kurio River is the only river in Yakushima where mangroves remain, and the water is exceptionally clear.
It is a 1-hour drive from the hotel to the mouth of the Kurio River. Once you’re ready, start kayaking from downstream, where salt water and fresh water mix. While observing Mount Kuromi in the distance, you’ll paddle upstream, taking 90 minutes to travel about 2 kilometers.
Exit your kayak and enjoy lunch alongside the river before going upriver. This is known as “shower climbing.” This time of year is the perfect climate for being in the water. Let’s dive into the abundant and splendid water while sensing the power of granite and the thick and beautiful forest.
Before returning to the hotel, stop by a spot near the mountain to mentally prepare yourself for the climb tomorrow. The next day, you will finally climb Mount Kuromi, the centerpiece of your journey. Grab dinner at a restaurant in town near the hotel and prepare for tomorrow.
Guided hiking to Mt. Kuromidake
Climbing Mount Kuromi, located on the central ridge of Yakushima at a height of 1,831 meters above sea level. The climb takes you down trails that include the multitudes of Yakushima’s beauty: massive forests, beautiful, clear streams, high moors, and bare granite. On a sunny day, the 360-degree panoramic view from the mountain’s summit is magnificent, an extra reward for having reached it.
You will take a car that will leave the hotel before dawn (at 5:00 AM) to take you 1,360 meters to the start of the mountain trail at the Yodo River. The ride will take 90 minutes. The hike will take an average time of 9 hours, cover a distance of 10.2 kilometers, and reach a height of 471 meters above sea level. Take a crack at the biggest challenge of your adventure, fueled by meals such as sandwiches specially prepared by the hotel, boxed lunches with rice balls wrapped in bamboo sheaths, and coffee breaks featuring coffee made with water from the river.
You will have your last dinner in Yakushima at a barbecue. Look back on your adventures as you talk with your newfound friends.
Memento-making to remember the memories made in Yakushima
For your final day, spend your morning doing whatever floats your boat. You can relax in your room, relieve your fatigue at the hotel’s spa, explore the streets around the hotel, or have fun shopping.
After lunch, get hands-on with nature with a Yakusugi craft workshop. In this workshop, you will polish precious Yakusugi bogwood, one of the island’s bounties, to create a one-of-a-kind gift. This will mark the end of your trip to Yakushima.
It is now time to say a final farewell and head back home from Yakushima Airport. From the abundant greenery of the mountains to the pristine rivers, the Kyushu region offers a plethora of adventures for anyone who visits.
The contents of this page are meant as an example to use in creating your travel plans and do not represent a package tour. Lodgings, travel, guides, and all other accommodations must be arranged for by the traveler.