Yakushima is an island located about 70 km south of Kyushu Island.
The shape is roughly rounded pentagon. It is about 32 km from east to west and about 30 km from north to south in width.
This island is sort of a steep large mountain towering in the ocean.
Many peaks more than 1,000 meters high cover this small island, and the highest peak is Miyanouradake peak (1,936 meters high) in the center of the island.
The wet air from the sea hits this high mountains, so this island has
4,000 to 10,000 millimeters of rainfall annually.
And the much rain has grow the rich forests on the island.
The island is in subtropical zone.
But the high mountains has created subtropical-to-subarctic flora on this small island.
The annual mean temperature is around 20 degrees C around the coast, but it is about 5 degrees C on the top of the mountain.
Because of the rich and diverse nature, one-fifth part of the island is designated as a World Natural Heritage site.
In the area higher than 500 meters, Yaku cedars grow naturally. Yaku
cedar ("Yaku-sugi" in Japanese) is a species endemic to Japan.
The lifespan of general Japanese cedar is about 500 years. But one of Yaku cedar is unduly long, and the trees over 2,000 years old are quite common.
We can meet such trees living for an immeasurable time in this island.
And we may see the wild monkeys and deer. (This island don't have so various animals.)
Small villages are dotted along the coast, and a road is set up around
the island to connect the villages.
Miyanoura on the north coast is the largest village, and has the port where the ships arrive from Kagoshima.
Anbou on the east coast is the second largest village.
Yakushima Airport lies about halfway between Miyanoura and Anbou.
Only two main roads to the inland.
One is the road leading to Shiratani-Unsuikyo from Miyanoura, and another is the road leading to Yakusugi Land from Anbou.
Buses and cars can run only these roads and the coastal road.
To visit main spots, you should dress in the outfit of climbing or
Because most attractive spots are in the steep mountain. And the climate is different from the coast area and the weather is changeable.
Route buses run on the main road. But you should check the timetable
because the number of the services is small.
If you can drive a car, it is convenient to rent a car.
Some hotels are in Miyanoura and Anbou.
Many Minshuku (small Japanese style inn) are Miyanoura, Anbou and several other villages.
is a revine formed by Shiratani River, and is located about 6 km south
It is the area preserving the old-growth forest, and there is "Yayoi-sugi" which is a Yaku cedar about 3,000 years old near the entrance.
A few walking trails are set up, and the longest route is over 5 km long. And the route is at the altitude of 600 to 1,000 meters.
On the route, "Forest of Princess Mononoke". "Princess Mononoke" is a 1997 Japanese animated movie written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and he selected this forest as one of the images in the movie.
a huge stump of Yaku cedar at an altitude of 1,030 meters.
It is said that the tree was cut down in 1586 to construct Osaka Castle. At that time, it was about 3,000 years old.
Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930, an American botanist) visited Japan in 1914, then he introduced this stump to the world.
The stump has a large hollow, and a small shrine is set up in the hollow.
It is on the climbing route to Jomon-sugi at the level , and it takes about 2.5 hours to climb from Arakawa starting point.
It is the oldest Yaku cedar, and is the symbol of Yakushima.
It is estimated to be 2,600 to 7,200 years old. (Estimating is difficult, so some values has ever been sumbitted.)
"Jomon" is one of the names of primitive ages in Japan.
It is about 30 meters tall, and has a trunk 16 meters around.
Not to damage the roots, we must see the tree from the observatory.
This is at an altitude of 1,300 meters, and it takes about 3.5 hours to climb from Arakawa starting point through Wilson stump.
It is the forest located about 10 km west of Anbou.
This forest is located at an altitude of around 1,000 meters, and has also many Yaku cedars.
Four trekking routes (30, 50, 80 and 150 minutes) are set up.
There is a parking lot at the entrance, so we can enjoy the forest of old Yaku cedars easily.
It is a Yaku cedar as old as
It is said that it is about 3,000 years old. It is about 19 meters tall, and has a trunk 13.3 meters around.
It is located about 6 km west of Yakusugi Land, and there is a parking lot.
is a waterfall at the southeast part of the island, and is located
about 11 km southwest of Anbou.
The water of a river falls down on a huge monolith of granite. The height is about 60 meters.
It is a unique waterfall that the water falls down into sea directly.
(Such waterfalls are only here and in Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido
But the height is only 6 meters. The position is in a small cove, so we can see it on the opposite shore.
It is near Senpiro Falls.
It is the Yakushima's largest waterfall located near the southwest
The height is 88 meters, and much water fall down strongly.
We can go to close to waterfall basin.
About 35 minutes from Kagoshima Airport.
About 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2
hours and 40 minutes from Kagoshima Port.
Some ships come to Miyanoura, and the others come to Anbou.
©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO
©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO