3 days
Plan your visit carefully and allow plenty of time for your activities in the park. Always check the latest weather information, and avoid overexerting yourself if you feel unwell.


Explore the Ancient Cedar Forests of Yakushima, and Learn How the Community Nurtures This Rare Ecosystem

Yakushima (Island) National Park off the coast of Kyushu in southwestern Japan is a rare ecosystem where people and nature coexist. Explore ancient cedar forests, towering mountains, and pristine beaches.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Hiking the mysterious, ancient forests and spotting native deer and monkeys.

  • Learning about the Yakusugi cedar trees, which are over 1,000 years old.

  • Experiencing how the local community lives in harmony with the natural environment.

Trip Overview

Explore ancient cedar forests
Discover the forestry heritage of Kosugitani
Relax in the deep green forest
Day 1

Explore ancient cedar forests

The island of Yakushima can be reached by ferry from Kagoshima, or by air from Kagoshima, Fukuoka, and Osaka. Whether you arrive at Miyanoura Port or Yakushima Airport, renting a car is the most convenient way to get around the island. Visit Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Center to learn about the diverse flora and fauna of Yakushima Island, initiatives for protecting the local ecosystem and see a 3D map of the national park terrain. Drive up into the forest to visit Yakusugi Land, a nature park with a number of Yakusugi (cedar trees over 1,000 years old). This is one of the most accessible places to see these magnificent ancient trees, with walking trails and boardwalks.

The lush forests of Yakushima Island are supported by the highest annual rainfall in Japan, so it is quite likely that you will experience scattered showers during a visit. Yakusugi Museum is a great option for a rainy day. Learn more about the natural environment, and the history of logging on the island, through interactive exhibits, pictures and videos.

Spend the night at one of the comfortable accommodations around Onoaida Onsen, and rest well for the next day of hiking and sightseeing.

Day 2

Discover the forestry heritage of Kosugitani

After breakfast, meet your guide for a fascinating day hike to the village of Kosugitani, where people once made their living from felling cedar trees. On the hike, you will hear the sounds of the river murmuring and birds chirping, and the guide will explain about Yakushima's wildlife. The guide will also tell you about the island's history of forestry and take you along the remains of the old lumber railroad which was used for transporting timber and supplies. After the hike, enjoy the aroma and form of thousand-year-old Yakusugi cedar during a precious woodworking experience.

After your experience, drive back to Onoaida, where you can bathe at Onoaida Onsen, try a local restaurant, and relax at your accommodation.

Day 3

Relax in the deep green forest

Check out of your accommodation and meet your guide for a special forest bathing experience in the virgin forests of the Yakushima World Natural Heritage site. Follow the Seibu Rindo Forest Path on the western side of the island, which weaves under a tunnel-like green canopy of entwined evergreen branches. As you walk, you may be able to spot wild Yakushima macaques and deer that live in the dense woodlands. Spend a half day walking and relaxing in the quiet forest.

Drive back to Miyanoura Port or Yakushima Airport, stopping in at one of the islands quaint and friendly cafes or restaurants for lunch, before you drop off your rental car and depart. A few days of adventure and relaxation in the beautiful natural landscapes of Yakushima will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

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