- Location: Located off the southeast coast of Kyushu and north of Okinawa in Japan.
- Time to Visit: Between November and April
- Attraction Type: Island.
- Significance: Cedar forest with some of the oldest living trees in the country. It is also the place of hiking and camping.
- Best time to Visit: November to April.
- Visiting Hours: During the daytime.
- How to Reach: You can reach Yakushima by air. Alternatively, you can also reach there by ferry from Kagoshima and Shimama.
- Nearest Airport: Yakushima Airport (KUM).
Want to go missing into a unique wilderness? Want to explore a forest amidst a wonderful island? Want to explore an island that has so much to offer to the tourists? Want to explore an island which is a paradise for those who love nature and outdoors? If all the above are enticing enough to woo you, then come and explore Yakushima — a wonderful and almost circular subtropical island in Japan.
Covered by an extensive cedar forest with some of the oldest living trees in the country, Yakushima is the destination for those who not only love natural beauty but also have the instinct to explore it. Besides going into the wilderness of the cedar forest, you also have the option of going for various activities including hiking and camping here.
Yakushima, one of the Osumi Islands, is located off the southeast coast of Kyushu and north of Okinawa in Japan. Being a subtropical island, Yakushima experience rain quite frequently which can turn into heavy snow during the winter. The rocky coastline and the verdant mountains offer picture-perfect frames for the nature-lovers. To add more shades to the beauty of the island, there are wildflowers and blossoms that decorate the roads and forest.
Things to Do
You have a whole range of activities while in Yakushima. Undoubtedly the most popular attraction is the cedar forest, called Yakusugi Cedar Forest, which has always attracted a good number of visitors worldwide. Besides this, you should also visit Yakusugi Museum, Yakushima Fruit Garden, Shitogo Gajumaru-en Banyan Garden, several waterfalls and also a few beaches.
Yakusugi Cedar Forest:
It is good to tell you at the very beginning that visiting cedar forest involves a few hiking, and you need to be reasonably fit for that. The forest can be divided into three areas — the trails of Jomon sugi, the Shiratani Unsuikyo and the trails of Yakusugiland. Jomon sugi is the most popular among the visitors which can be reached only by foot. Start your trip before the dawn so that you can complete you trip in 10-12 hours time.
Shiratani Unsuikyo is the place where you will experience the silent, mossy, and primeval forest. The good thing of this tour is that you can reach there by bus from Miyanoura in 40 minutes (Fare 530 Yen) and unlike Yakusugi, you do not have to start your tour pretty early in the morning. You need to pay a admission fee of 300 Yen before you can enter there.
Yakusugiland is a wonderful area for walking, but a bit less accessible than Shiratani Unsuikyo. You also have a number of hiking options there.
Nagata Inakahama Beach: Located in Nagata, it is a white sandy beach, known for its sea turtle nesting grounds.
Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center: Located in Miyanoura, Yakushima Environmental Culture Village showcases the natural environment and the daily lives of the people of Yakushima.
Shiratani Insuikyo Ravine: A wonderful ravine located in the Yakushima National Forest.
Yakusigi Museum: Located in Anbo, this museum is another popular destination in the region.
Special Attractions: While in Yakushima, don’t miss some of the special attractions of the regions such as Yakushima Tankan (a fruit), Kame-no-te (shellfish), Yomegasa (shellfish), Tankan Juice, Yaku-saba (mackerels), and Yakushima-age (special food made from deep-fried flying fish).
You have a number of options to choose from while looking for accommodation in Yakushima. Following are a few hotels in Yakushima:
Seaside Hotel Yakushima [Tel: (0997) 420175]
Yakushima Green Hotel [Tel: (0997) 463021]
Yakushima Iwasaki Hotel [Tel: (0997) 473888]