|From Tokyo:||3 hr|
|From Kagoshima City:||1-4 hr|
How to Get There
Yakushima (Island) National Park is renowned for its majestic cedar forests that contain many trees over 1,000 years old. The park sits on an island in southern Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu and is accessible by plane or boat. Two bus companies provide infrequent service in the park, but renting a car will make getting around more convenient.
Fly from Haneda Airport to Kagoshima Airport (2 hr) then change flights to Yakushima Airport (40 min). Once you’ve arrived, it’s most convenient to rent a car from a company near the airport. If you prefer public transportation, take a bus to the stop closest to your destination. The bus companies on the island are Tanegashima-Yakushima Kotsu and Matsubanda Kotsu.
From Kagoshima City
Fly from Kagoshima Airport to Yakushima Airport (40 min) or take a boat, such as a high-speed boat from Kagoshima Port to Miyanoura or Anbo Port on Yakushima (2-3 hr) or a slower car ferry from Kagoshima Port to Miyanoura Port (4 hr). Once you’ve arrived, the best option is to rent a car from a company near the airport or Miyanoura Port. The bus companies on the island are Tanegashima-Yakushima Kotsu and Matsubanda Kotsu.
The road encircling the Yakushima coast is dotted with hotels, hot springs and other tourism-related facilities. The land is especially developed around the two seaports and the airport, and all three locations have numerous car rental companies. Yakushima’s famous forests are located inland from the coastal areas. Two bus companies, Tanegashima Yakushima Kotsu and Matsubanda Kotsu, offer infrequent service to the interior. Renting a car is the fastest and more convenient option for exploring the forests. The one exception is the Arakawa Trailhead, which leads to Jomonsugi, said to be the oldest tree in Japan. From March to November, the trailhead can only be accessed using a shuttle bus that departs from Yakusugi Museum (35 min). Joining guided hikes presents an excellent alternative to renting a car since many of the walks include a pickup service.