Is Yakushima Island Price Visiting?


I’m unsure why I made a decision to go to Yakushima on my very first journey to Japan greater than a decade in the past. I’m not an anime fan, so the explanation most individuals go—the island’s surroundings having been the inspiration for “Princess Mononoke”—wasn’t legitimate.

Justified or not, the journey began a love affair between me and Yakushima, particularly its towering, historic cedar timber. My affection for the island has solely deepened each time I’ve returned.

Unsurprisingly, my reply to the query “is Yakushima Island value visiting?” is a convincing sure. However the satan is within the particulars.

Get to Yakushima Island

The island’s remoteness is a part of what makes Yakushima value visiting, however it’s additionally why so many individuals forego a visit. There are two primary methods to get right here. The simplest (but in addition the most costly) is to fly. If you happen to’re coming from Tokyo, you’ll want to attach in Kagoshima. There are restricted direct flights from Fukuoka and Osaka-Itami as properly, however these are higher for people who find themselves already dwelling and touring in these cities.

The slower means is to journey to Kagoshima (most likely through the Kyushu Shinkansen) and take a ship from there. If you happen to’ve been profitable at on-line sports activities betting (or if cash is in any other case no object), the super-fast jetfoil ferries that depart a number of instances per day from Kagoshima Port are essentially the most environment friendly choice. Nonetheless, there are additionally slower and fewer cheaper ferries out there if you wish to avoid wasting yen.

My Favourite Issues to Do in Yakushima Island

Hike amid historic cedars


Yakushima is residence to one of many oldest timber in Japan—the Jomon Sugi cedar—however this takes hours of strenuous mountain climbing to succeed in. The excellent news is that there are two different locations you may see sugi right here. The primary (and “best”) is Yakusugi Land, which is principally a botanical backyard. The second is Shiratani Unsuikyo, a gorge whose surroundings impressed the film “Princess Mononoke.”

Drive all the way in which across the island


Until you actually like timber, you may not really feel that Yakushima is value visiting just by seeing its most well-known residents up-close. The excellent news is that there are many wonderful sights to see as you circumnavigate the island, whether or not utilizing your individual automotive or by bus. I particularly love the wilder west coast, the place wild monkeys often commandeer the street due to how few individuals are there, and the crystalline rivers flowing down from the mountains.

Go to a tremendous waterfall


Typically talking, I really feel like most Japanese waterfalls are underwhelming—is that this an unpopular opinion? Nonetheless, Yakushima largely bucks this pattern, whether or not we’re talking about Okho Waterfall on the aforementioned west coast, or ones like Janokuchi Falls and Senpiro Falls alongside the island’s barely extra populated southern coast.

Uncover native delicacies


Just like the island extra broadly, its delicacies isn’t what you’ll name well-known round Japan—you may’t actually argue that tobiuo (flying fish) is why Yakushima is value visiting. However, I do love the expertise of consuming on the island, if solely as a result of that every one however a couple of eating places are so down-home and genuine. This generally is a problem should you don’t communicate Japanese, however to paraphrase Taylor Swift, the (cultural) excessive is definitely worth the ache.

Savor the silent moments


Yakushima is a tremendous place to go, however it’s additionally a novel expertise. Its inaccessibility has meant that it’s been one of many few locations not affected by Japan’s unending tourism increase. Which will change someday (although, as of now, its airport continues to obtain only some flights a day, and none from Tokyo), however for now I implore you to take the sage recommendation of one other iconic pop tune and benefit from the silence.

How Lengthy Do You Want in Yakushima?

Yakushima isn’t an enormous island, however its sights additionally don’t lend themselves to quick sightseeing. Even the “straightforward” Yakusugi Land is principally an all-day exercise once you take into consideration how lengthy it takes to get there and again (particularly should you don’t have a automotive). And that’s simply one of many many issues to do in Yakushima. If you mix this with the expense and problem of reaching the island. it’s tough to justify most very temporary stays.

However, it’s not like that you must keep every week (though you may). On the whole, I’d say you must keep a minimal of two full days in Yakushima; 3-5 is perfect, assuming you may swing it. Clearly, once you ask “is Yakushima value visiting?”, the journey of exploring the island is central to the reply. However it’s merely not a touch-and-go vacation spot, irrespective of how briskly a traveler you might be. (And I get it—I’m not a lot for “sluggish journey” both!)


Different FAQ About Visiting Yakushima

Why is Yakushima so particular?

Yakushima is particular as a result of it’s residence to large, historic cedar timber, together with the Jomon Sugi tree, which can be as much as 8,000 years outdated. If you happen to’re an anime fan, you’ll need to go to as a result of Yakushima was the inspiration for the film “Princess Mononoke.”

The place to sleep in Yakushima?

If you happen to’re coming to Yakushima and not using a automotive, you’ll need to keep someplace round Miyanoura Port, the place ferries arrive and the place most public transport on the island originates. When you’ve got a automotive, in the meantime, you may extra freely select from the distinctive visitor homes and different lodging across the island.

What’s the greatest time of yr to go to Yakushima?

I personally love coming to Yakushima through the “shoulder” months of Might and November, that are after the cherry blossoms and earlier than the autumn colours (respectively)—and the crowds that accompany each. Some vacationers take pleasure in visiting Yakushima through the summer season as a result of it’s ostensibly cooler than mainland Kyushu, however to me it’s nonetheless sweltering. 

The Backside Line

Is Yakushima Island value visiting? Completely, a minimum of assuming that you’ve got sufficient time in your itinerary, and in addition that you just’re ready to undertake the cumbersome journey of getting there. If each of this stuff are true, then put together to be amazed. If not by the surroundings straight out of “Princess Mononoke” (identical; I’m not an enormous anime fan), then merely due to the size and majesty of the traditional cedars that decision the island residence. Need customized assist planning your subsequent journey to Japan? Whether or not or not you go to Yakushima, I hope you’ll think about hiring me to create a customized Japan itinerary. 



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