Yakushima is understood for hikes, hikes and extra hikes, however the island has a lot extra to supply, from nesting turtles to magical escapes.
Recognized for its historical cedar bushes, Yakushima is a bucket-list vacation spot for hikers in Japan, however even for those who’re not a devoted trail-head there’s tons to see. A pure haven, it’s no shock that the island has loads of superb wildlife to look at (and a few to eat too) in addition to the Miyazaki associations. For the most effective spots, you may hike or simply go to the extra accessible museums and parks—they showcase not solely the bushes but additionally the historical past behind them.
1. Get magical in Shiratani Unsuikyo
A brief-ish hike with all of the promise of stepping straight into the land of Princess Mononoke, the Shiratani Unsuikyo route is without doubt one of the nicest on the island. There are a couple of completely different routes to select from, so for those who’re brief on time you needn’t fear, you may select ones from between 1 to five hours. The ravine is a magical mixture of moss-covered forest and historical bushes (together with the three,000-year-old yayoisugi), to not point out the rivers working by way of the center of all of it. When you take the complete loop route you’ll see the well-known Kugurisugu tree straddling the trail, however for those who can’t make it that far don’t fear, there are many related bushes alongside the best way!
Entry: The trailhead will be accessed by bus from Miyanoura. It prices ¥550 and takes round half an hour. Make sure to test the ultimate bus departure occasions (round 4 pm) so that you don’t get caught up there!
2. Loosen up in an oceanside onsen
It’s not a worthy Japanese mountaineering vacation spot if there isn’t an onsen concerned, and this little island isn't any completely different. Dwelling to a variety of scorching springs, you may select from fancy lodge choices just like the JR lodge in Onoaida or the Jomon no Yado Manten in Koseda. Alternatively, there are pure seaside onsen in Hirauchi and Yudomari, which get you about as near nature as doable. Hirauchi Onsen is tide-dependent so you may solely bathe for a few hours at low tide every day. It is usually a mixed-bathing pool with no swimsuits allowed (however modesty towels can be utilized). Yudomari Onsen is accessible all day and has a bamboo divide. Each have small footbaths although for those who choose to maintain your garments on.
Read more 7 Tips for Your Half Dome Hike
3. Study tons on the Yakusugi Museum
Devoted to the bushes and the island’s logging historical past, the Yakusugi Museum is a superb place to get some background on what makes these bushes so particular. Housed in a moderately uncommon constructing simply exterior of Anbo, the museum has inventive and spectacular shows, with giant tree segments and picket flooring made from fallen yakusugi. There may be an English audio information obtainable and plenty to be taught, with hands-on shows of the large saws required by loggers a long time in the past. When you’re mountaineering the Jōmonsugi path this is able to be an excellent place to go to the day earlier than as you’ll be following the disused tracks and passing logging settlements in your hike. The Yakushima World Heritage Heart is close by and free to enter, explaining how the island acquired its UNESCO World Heritage standing. The Yakusugi Museum is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm and prices ¥600 for adults.
Entry: The museum is a brief bus experience from Anbo village and can be the place to begin for the particular Arakawa Trailhead Bus which takes you to the beginning of the Jōmon Sugi hike. From Anbo buses price
4. Hike to Jōmonsugi
Just about the principle hike of the island, the Jōmon Sugi route takes you to the middle of the island to see the oldest of bushes. Believed to be as much as 7,000 years previous, Jōmon Sugi is a powerful sight, however it definitely takes some effort to achieve. Combining the Anbu and Okawa trails, it’s round eight to 10 hours of strolling and scrambling. Whereas the primary part (the Anbo path) follows disused railway tracks and is not more than a stroll, the second part requires ladder-climbing, root-hopping and ungainly scrambling. Try our full information on what to anticipate when mountaineering to Jōmon Sugi and revel in!
Entry: The trailhead for this hike can solely be accessed (for almost all of the season) by a particular bus from the Yakusugi Museum. It runs from round 4 am within the path of the trailhead and return journeys start at 3 pm. These buses are timed to attach with buses from Anbo and Miyanoura.
5. Admire waterfalls
An island famend for its rain (locals will let you know it rains 35 days a month), it’s fortunate there are some fairly waterfalls as a silver lining. Essentially the most well-known is Okonotaki (pictured above) which is 88 m tall and one in every of Japan’s high 100 waterfalls. With a brief stroll required from the automobile park, it’s close to Nagata and there are a couple of buses that go to every day. Senpiro and Janokuchi falls are each positioned close to Onoaida, however Senpiro is greatest reached by automobile whereas Janokuchi requires a couple of hours of delicate mountaineering to achieve. Swimming shouldn't be inspired within the waterfalls, both as a result of it’s dangerous or as a result of the water is utilized in close by villages, so possibly don’t have a dip to chill off.
6. Go turtle recognizing in summer season
A nesting web site for over 50% of Japan’s visiting loggerhead turtles, Yakushima’s seashores are an excellent place to identify these unimaginable creatures. Returning after 35 years to the place they hatched themselves, the feminine turtles arrive between Could and August. Throughout that point entry to the seashores is restricted. You can not enter at night time and are requested to not stroll above the high-tide line in any respect as that is the place most nests are. For these eager to see the turtles and be taught extra about them, you may organize viewings by way of the Umigame Heart in Nagata.
When you don’t occur to be there in the course of the summer season months, the middle remains to be an excellent place to be taught extra concerning the turtles and what makes Yakushima such an excellent setting for them. It’s open from Monday to Wednesday, 9 am till 5 pm, with entrance costing ¥300 for adults.
Entry: The Umigame-kan is positioned subsequent to Inakahama, the most effective seashore for turtle-spotting. Catch a bus from Miyanoura to Nagata and alight on the Nakano-bashi cease—the museum is simply a few minutes’ stroll from there.
7. Feast on flying fish and native delicacies
There’s nowhere higher for contemporary fish than Japan, and for those who’re on an island then you definately’ll be having fun with a few of the greatest within the land. Yakushima has a sure speciality although, and that’s the straightforward however scrumptious flying fish aka tobio. Served as sashimi, grilled or tempura-d right into a semi-flying state, it’s a staple on most menus. Different delicacies embody ponkan and tankan oranges, broken-neck mackerel (believed to maintain it brisker when caught), candy potatoes (no neck-breaking concerned) and a regionally brewed shochu (you may go to the brewery in Anbo for a free tour). The island can be identified for salt, turmeric and tea, which all supply nice choices for small souvenirs to take residence.
Transport in Yakushima
In addition to your strolling boots, you’ll want one thing with wheels to get you across the island (except you reeeaaaalllly love strolling that's). Renting or bringing a automobile makes issues a lot simpler as the general public transport is proscribed—however it's undoubtedly doable to discover the island utilizing the 2 bus firms for those who can’t get behind the wheel your self. For the right way to get to Yakushima within the first place, examine your choices right here.
All buses are run by two firms: Yakushima Kotsu and Matsubanda Kotsu. The primary has extra routes and extra frequent providers, whereas the second is a bit more restricted. The timetable for Yakushima Kotsu will be seen right here as a PDF. It’s fairly dense, however you’ll discover all of the occasions match up nicely (not at all times the case in Kyushu). For Matsubanda, they've made their timetable obtainable in a spreadsheet, obtainable right here (who even is aware of why), however there are PDFs obtainable elsewhere on-line (though not at all times updated).
Yakushima’s all-you-can-ride bus go
Yakushima Kotsu presents a go for limitless journey on virtually all of their buses with choices for sooner or later (¥2,000), two and three days (¥3,000), or 4 days (¥4,000). This isn’t that low-cost and we advise you're employed out your routes just a little upfront to see whether it is really cheaper for you, particularly since it isn't legitimate on the Arakawa Trailhead Bus or the sightseeing tour bus. Passes can't be purchased on board it's essential to buy it from places of work both at ports, the vacationer inoformation heart, numerous resorts and hostels or the airport. There isn't a related go for Matsubanda neither is this go accepted on their busses.
When you’re on the lookout for extra freedom and have a global or Japanese driver’s license, then a automobile is a superb choice. There are a collection of rental firms on the island however they've fairly fastened costs, so don’t count on something too aggressive. We have now a information for every thing you have to find out about automobile rental in Japan. There are a selecion of nationwide firms together with Orix, Nippon and and Europcar in addition to a few native choices together with Destino and Matsubanda. Attempt utilizing this comparability web site for choices however keep in mind the smaller native choices like Vanlife aren’t listed.
Camper van rental
When you would moderately mix your lodging and transport prices then take into account a camper van. Van Life supply compact, easy campers which imply you may sleep out (kind of) in nature. Plus there’s good English help and a straightforward reserving course of.