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Kayaking in Yakushima

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Kayaking in Yakushima


Try forest bathing by boat in the Anbo River valley on this UNESCO island

Yakushima Town



Yakushima, the UNESCO World Heritage island off the southern coast of Kyushu, is renowned for its beautiful mountains, its primeval temperate rainforest and its water, which flows from its steep mountains down to the ocean.


Yakushima is sometimes called ‘the island of water’, and its pristine water is the source of its famously rich nature – as well all kinds of water-based activities.


The Anbo River is one of the most popular spots to try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking, due to the proximity of the river mouth and the deep, green forests that envelop both banks of this V-shaped valley. The water is crystal clear and, in the spring, the valley is awash with fresh green as the trees sprout new leaves.


Viewed from the perspective of the river, the forest above appears lush and dense, and the journey is relaxing and rejuvenating. If you've heard of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku), then this is 'forest bathing by boat' – and an extraordinary escape from daily life.


How to get there


About 10 minutes on foot from Anbo Port. Yakushima is 2-3 hours by high-speed boat or 40 minutes by air from Kagoshima.



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