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Yakushima Island


©Yakushima Town  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Yakushima Island


A national park with ancient forests and rivers that never run dry - the ideal island for a nature break

Yakushima Town, Kagoshima Prefecture


©Yakushima Town


Often called “the island of ancient forest and water,” Yakushima Island is home to diverse ecosystems and village lifestyles that thrive on its unique natural water cycles.
Its mountainous terrain of millennia-old cedar trees - including the very oldest, known as the “Jomon-sugi Cedar” - sits in the path of Japan’s warm Kuroshio ocean current, elevating the saturated air to cooler heights and producing regular heavy downpours. Kuroshio brings with it tiny organisms that spawn into marine life around the island, as its water runs into rivers to return to the sea.
With 78 species of endemic plants, other flora, and shores teeming with sea life, villagers on Yakushima Island enjoy a plentiful bounty of seafood and edible plants. But the water cycle also plays another important role in their everyday life. Most of Yakushima’s electricity is hydroelectric, making it an ideal island for eco-friendly stays.


©Yakushima Town

How to get there


By air: About 40 minutes from Kagoshima Airport, 1 hour and 35 minutes from Itami Airport or 70 minutes from Fukuoka Airport.
By boat: About 1 hour and 50 minutes - 2 hours and 45 minutes from Kagoshima Port South Pier by high-speed ship or 4 hours from Kagoshima Port.


Yakuhsima, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima-ken


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