Yakushima Island

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Domo arigato.
  • View from Ferry to Yakushima Island

    Ferry View Yakushima Island

  • Miyanoura Port at Yakushima Island

    Miyanoura Port Yakushima Island

  • Miyanoura Port at Yakushima Island

    Miyanoura Port Yakushima Island

  • Town Miyanoura at Yakushima Island

    Miyanoura Yakushima Island

  • Town Miyanoura at Yakushima Island

    Miyanoura Yakushima Island

  • Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center

    Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center

  • Coastline of Yakushima Island

    Yakushima Island

  • Coastline of Yakushima Island

    Yakushima Island

  • Coastline of Yakushima Island

    Yakushima Island

  • Coastline of Yakushima Island

    Yakushima Island

  • Yakushima Island

    Yakushima Island

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo known as Princess Mononoke Forest

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Also Known As Princess Mononoke's Forest

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo known as Princess Mononoke Forest

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Also Known As Princess Mononoke's Forest

  • Bugyou Sugi, Yakushima Island

    Bugyou Sugi - Old cedar Tree, Yakushima Island

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Area with old Cedar Trees

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Area

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Area with old Cedar Tree

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Area With Old Cedar Trees

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Amazing Cedar Tree

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Amazing Cedar Tree

  • Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Blueprint For Hayao Miyazaki Movie

    Yakushima Island Shirataniunsuikyo Blueprint For Hayao Miyazaki´s Movie

  • Yakushima Island Ocean View

    Yakushima Island Ocean View

  • Yakushima Island Orange Plantation

    Yakushima Island Orange Plantation

  • Yakushima Island Beautiful Senpiro Waterfall

    Yakushima Island Beautiful Senpiro Waterfall

  • Yakushima Island Coastal Road

    Yakushima Island Coastal Road

  • Yakushima Island Hidden Beach

    Yakushima Island Hidden Beach

  • Yakushima Island Map Of Waterfalls

    Yakushima Island Map Of Waterfalls

  • Yakushima Island Ohko-no-taki Waterfall

    Yakushima Island Ohko-no-taki Waterfall

  • Yakushima Island River

    Yakushima Island River

  • Old Roof at Yakushima Island

    Old Roof, Yakushima Island

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Facts & Figures

Yakushima belongs to the Ōsumi Islands. It has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The round-shaped granite suptropical island covers an area of app. 505 square kilometres with an population of 15.000. There are more than 40 mountains reaching over 1000 meters and 6 over 1800 meters. The highest mountain with 1935m above sea level is called Miyanoura-dake. Miyanoura-dake is also the highest mountain within Kyushu. Most parts of the island are covered by ancient cedar trees (yaku-sugi). One of the oldest trees in the world Jomon Sugi (between 2,170 and 7,200 years old) is only reachable by a 10hr hiking tour (round-trip).

Yakushima is really a paradise for outdoor lovers. You can enjoy hot springs, beautiful beaches, walks through ancient forests, climbing, snorkelling, canoe trips, sea-kayaking, watching wild animals and much much more. The forest is also home for the well-known Yakushima macaque and the Yaku deer. What is really unique are the different climate zones you can experience within such a small area. It reaches from subtropical along the beaches to subalpine within the snow-covered mountains during winter. Did you know that the average ocean temperature there never goes under 19 degree celsius. On average 300000 tourists come here every year. My tip: Rent a car otherwise its gets to complicated and time consuming to reach the best spots along the coast. The highlight of my car trip was the Seibu Rindo Forest Path, a 20km seashore road between Kuryu and Nagata.

History

In 1993 Yakushima Island got the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the first one for Japan. One fifth of Yakushima is protected and registered as a World Natural Heritage Site of Natural Beauty. The Yakushima National Park is protecting an even larger area and covers most of the center of the island. The first settlements on the island happend during the Jomon period (14500 - 300 BCE).

Location Show map

Yakushima belongs to the Kagoshima Prefecture and is part of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park. The island is located 135km south of the city Kagoshima. Yakushima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.

How to get to Yakushima?

  • 90min direct flight from Osaka by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 1hr direct flight from Fukuoka by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 35min direct flight from Kagoshima by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 2-3hrs from Kagoshima by high-speed boat to the ferry ports at Miyanoura and Anbo

Location

Map of Japan

Yakushima belongs to the Kagoshima Prefecture and is part of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park. The island is located 135km south of the city Kagoshima. Yakushima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.

How to get to Yakushima?

  • 90min direct flight from Osaka by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 1hr direct flight from Fukuoka by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 35min direct flight from Kagoshima by Japan Air Commuter (JAL Group)
  • 2-3hrs from Kagoshima by high-speed boat to the ferry ports at Miyanoura and Anbo

Sightseeing spots on Yakushima Island

Top:

Jomon Sugi - It is one of the oldest cedar trees in the world. It is an really impressive sight with an height of 25.3 meters and a circumference of 16.4 meters. See pictures of my hiking tour here.

Shirataniunsuikyo Area - This beautiful nature park was an inspiration for the Princess Mononoke movie made by Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli in 1997. It takes 35min by bus from Miyanoura to get there.

Yakusugi Land - A nature park with impressive cedar trees with some of them more than 1000 years old. The whole area can be explored by long and short hiking trails. Two buses a day from Anbo bring you to Yakusugi Land.

Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center - Enjoy the great introduction to the nature of the island.

Senpiro Waterfall - Senpiro-no-taki with an height of 66 meters is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Yakushima Island.

Ohko-no-taki Waterfall - Ohko-no-taki belongs with 88m to one of Japans best and most scenic waterfalls.

Miyanoura-dake (1935m) - It is one of Japan’s famous One Hundred Mountains. This hiking paradise is the most southern point in Japan, where you can find snow in winter.

Yakusugi Museum (Yaku-sugi shizenkan) - The nature museum is located in the village Anbo. Yakushima is famous for its old cedar trees (yaku-sugi). Here you get all the information about the history of the forest industry, the protection of the trees and the different use-cases of the wood. (Admission: Adults: 600 yen, Students: 400 yen, Elementary School: 300 yen)

Sea Turtle Museum - The clean beaches of Yakushima are a very popular spot for loggerhead and green turtles to lay their eggs in the sand (mid of May - mid of August). The museum will give you great knowledge about these animals. Btw you can book a guided tour to experience this miracle at the beach.

Hirauchi Hot Spot - This unique hot spring place with a natural rock pool at the south coast of Yakushima is located directly at the beach and can be accessed only twice a day when the tide is low. Book your adventure stay here.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

August

Yakushima Goshinzan Festival (first Saturday and Sunday)
It is a summer festival, at the stage of the Miyano-ura-gawa River, of a solemn shrine ritual where even tourists can take part of it.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Train ride from Osaka to Kyoto

I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
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