- Al was here: 3 days in April 2013.
- Number of days needed: 1 or 3, depending on how much you like rain forests and millenary trees.
- My score: 4/5.
Yakushima is a fantastic island:
- Figuratively, by the extraordinary greenness and life overflowing its humid forest, unique in the world by the type of vegetation it has, the star being the Japanese cedars, some of the oldest trees on the planet, called Yakusugi (Yaku from Yakushima + “sugi”, which means cedar).
- And literally, as it is the inspiration of several animated films by master Hayao Miyazaki. The forest eternally covered with green moss on Princess Mononoke or the gigantic millenary trees o The Castle in the Sky are copied from here.
UNESCO Heritage and Biosphere Reserve since 1993, the island therefore offers an exclusive and characteristic landscape, which is what its more than 300,000 tourists a year come to visit. There are routes for almost any type of user, from accessible trails frequented by groups of elderly people, to multi-day trails with level differences over 2000 meters and in less favorable climatic conditions than one might imagine, although it is true that even the simplest routes require a minimum of physical preparation. In any of them, the sensation of being in an animated film is continuous; one walks through a forest so green that it seems painted, passing literally below huge trees, along with others that grow directly from rocks, waiting to see where a pixie will jump. It is one of those places where the forest speaks to you, even if it is in Japanese.
And when you get bored of seeing trees, there are also beaches with sea turtles.
WHAT TO DO: HIKING TRAILS
- YAKUSUGI LAND
- SHIRATANI UNSUIKYO
- ARAKAWA TRAIL – JOMONSUGI – MOUNT MIYANOURA – YODOGAWA HUT -KIGENSUGI
- WHEN TO GO
- WHERE TO EAT, SLEEP AND EQUIP FOR HIKING
- PROBLEMS AND ANNOYANCES