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Ancient nature – Yakushima

Yakushima is an island of pure nature and the mystic forest. It is a part of Kagoshima prefecture, and was registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1993 for its unique environment that have been kept for centuries.

As you trek into the deep woods, you will be rewarded by the Jo-mon cedars who have lived over 2000 to 7000 years. With the trunk of over 10m around, they will embrace you through your heart and make you gasp. Frankly speaking, no words deserve describing them.

As the round-trip could easily take a whole day, you might want to stay overnight at the local lodge. Good trekking shoes and waterproof jackets are the must, and prepare yourself with quick-dry outfits for your sweat and rain. Its ecosystem is very special and many conservation efforts have been made to maintain this incredible nature intact.

It is not surprising that such a natural treasure was the inspiration for the animation film ‘Princess Mononoke’. If you are not so confident with your physical capacity, there is a place called Yakusugi-Land which offers 4 different walking courses starting from just a half an hour exploration. For more advanced trekkers, a further hike to Taiko-iwa will be worth your sweat. It is the view point where you can see the vast panorama of the endless forest spreading out.

Other attractions include heart-shaped caves, beautiful waterfalls, and of course hot springs. There is no better ways to relax your body than soaking yourself in front of the nature.