The Yakushima in Kagoshima prefecture is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is known for its beautiful scenery. The island is one of the most striking tourist destinations in Japan.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
Yakushima is located at Kyushu’s south east coast. It is north of Okinawa and very near to Tanegashima. As it is a part of Kagoshima, that is the starting point for journeys to the island. The Shimama ferry connection will take a couple of hours. Direct flights to and from the island are available at Yakushima Airport.
There are buses on the island, but they are few and far in-between. The best way to get around is by renting a scooter.
What to See There
The Yakusugi Museum is a storehouse of movies, pictures and other exhibits depicting the island’s history. The World Heritage Conservation Center is not far from the museum. The Fruit Garden features different kinds of plants, trees and fruits. It is south of Kurioc.
Also worth checking out is the Shitogo Gajumaru-en Banyan Garden. The 300-year-old Banyan trees are the biggest attractions on the site. The island also boasts of numerous waterfalls.
The island’s main composition is granite. Spanning an area of 505 km, it has several mountains over 1,800 m high. Research has shown that it is one of the most drenched places in Japan. Precipitation takes place almost half the entire year.
Some of the most striking characteristics of the island are the mountains that suddenly emerged above the plain. There are also some cedar trees over a thousand years old on the island. The biggest is called Jomon sugi, which is between 2,000 to 7,000 years old.
Ferry rides to Yakushima in Kagoshima cost between 5,000 to 7,000 yen. A car can be rented on the island at the cost of 21,000 yen. Bikes and scooters are less expensive. They can also be rented for specific number of hours or days.
Affordable lodges exist on the island. This includes the Shiki no Yado Onoaida qat Onaida. The price range is around 8,000 yen per individual.
Other lodges include Yaedake Sanso and the Miyanoura Portside Youth Hostel. There are also some camping areas along the central mountain trails. South of Andos is a place where you can buy fruits.
When staying at Yakushima in Kagoshima, don’t forget to sample their flying fish, ponkan (orange). You may also want to sample the local drink known as Mitake.