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Yakushima Yakushima
Yakushima Yakushima



  • The forest trails of Yakushima take hikers through lush, pristine wilderness. It is easy to get lost or damage the environment if you leave the trail, so pay attention to trail markers. Be prepared with proper hiking equipment and attire, and submit a climbing registration form before you set off. There are basic huts and designated camping sites for overnight stays in the mountains. There are some guided hikes in English. Pamphlets in English are available from Yakushima Tourist Association.

  • Yakushima's diverse climate has created a wide variety of ecosystems that cannot be seen anywhere else. The island is also home to animals such as deer and monkeys. Among the forests of ancient Jomon cedar, particular trees draw visitors, including "Daiosugi", estimated to be around 3,000 years old, "Wilson's Stump", and "Meotosugi", two trees that appear to be holding hands. The best seasons for hiking are spring and autumn. Summer is hot and humid, and winter brings snow to the trails.

  • Beyond Yakushima's famous cedar forests, there is much to see. Other highlights include dramatic waterfalls and gorges created by the erosion of granite, such as Chihiro Falls, Okawa Falls, and Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine. Along the coast, visitors can enjoy marine activities and beautiful beaches such as Nagata Inakahama Beach, which is a nesting spot for protected sea turtles. Natural hot springs include Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen, which is only revealed at low tide.

The remote island of Yakushima became one of Japan’s first Natural World Heritage Sites in 1993. The mountainous island is 135 kilometers south of Kyushu, off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture, and is a veritable hiker’s paradise. Many people take the Arakawa Trailhead to visit the Jomon-sugi, a massive cedar tree deep in the mountains thought to be over 2,000 years old. The journey is relatively flat and takes about 10 hours one way, and along the way you can see lush forests full of other impressive yaku cedar trees, and remnants of civilization like old railway tracks (which you follow for most of the hike) and former settlements. While on Yakushima, be sure to try some of its local specialties, like flying fish, boxed lunches wrapped in banana leaves, and local shochu.





Duration 1day / 9hours
Highest Point 1,292m
Elevation Gain 700m
Horizontal Distance 19.4km

* Duration is an estimate and may vary depending on route and pace.

Reference: Jomon Sugi Round Trip from the Arakawa Trailhead




From Kagoshima Port Minami-futo Wharf, take a two-hour ferry to Yakushima's main ferry terminal Miyanoura Port. From there, take the shuttle bus to Yakusugi Museum. From the museum, take a 35-minute bus ride to the Arakawa Trailhead.




Yakushima (Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Burea)


Yakushima (Hikes in Japan)




Yakushima Geographic Tour



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