Yakushima island has, over the years, provided a haven not only for holiday goers seeking the respite of a subtropical paradise but also for green and loggerhead turtles in the endangered list. Favorable conditions by the Kuroshio current have ensured the thriving of a beautiful underwater world of sea goldies, butterflies, among other colorful marine life and plants, thereby resulting in incredible snorkeling, SUP and kayaking opportunities. You’ll run into all manner and color of fishes, and unique aquatic life you had no idea even existed!
Home to the millennia-old Jōmon Sugi; and other massive cedars and rare wildlife and flora, Yakushima island is also a deserved World Heritage Site! Its enticing series of waterfalls and mountain peaks provide breathtaking scenery, with its most popular natural possession being the famous Shiratani Unsuikyo forest. The adorable Yaku deer and monkeys that have taken up residence here are sure to impress visitors just as much as the towering canopies of ancient cedars that have been around for centuries!
From inspiring backdrops to sea turtle-laden seas, Yakushima island is the very definition of an idyllic holiday. Get lost in the UNESCO woodlands, among many other experiences on a sightseeing extravaganza by Mother Nature!
1. Trekking in the forest of Princess Mononoke
Yakushima trekking offers a flurry of island delight, the highlight of which is Shiratani Unsuikyo. A place of green rocks and ageless cedar trees, this beautiful valley has inspired a princess film! Hike under a sky of green leaves!
2. Guided tours: Meet a World Heritage Tree
A UNESCO World Heritage site of profound nature, Yakushima is home to the Jōmon Sugi, a massive cryptomeria tree believed to be more than 2,000 years old! Other Yakushima day trip options also include Yakusugi forest tours and mountain climbing Kuromidake!
3. Ecotourism tours: Visit the gods
Take your Yakushima hiking to the next level, with a snorkeling stroll of the lively sea. Pose for underwater selfies with turtles in lovely corals and follow butterflies wherever they lead! Additionally, enjoy freestyle hiking in Miyanoura and explore Mt. Tachu, believed to be home to gods!
4. Canoeing in a sea of turtles
An island trip wouldn’t be complete without a canoeing tour across waters separating banks of lush nature. Aside from exquisite scenery of the hills and mountains from out on the water, you’re also bound to bump into a brown sea turtle in one of Japan’s most fertile turtle egg-laying spots!
5. Tour the dark beauty of mountains at night
Beyond the cedars swaying in the night breeze, the Yakushima night sky is an endless field of twinkling stars and bright moons. Stroll the mountains’ dark beauty in the moonlight and warm up on bonfires, and with coffee and desserts!
6. Diving with fish of all color and size
Blessed by the Kuroshio currents that ensure warm temperatures throughout the year. Yakushima offers excellent conditions for marine life and human exploration. Diving Yakushima means plenty of mackerel and flying fish!
7. Come alive Canyon rafting Yakushima
Thrill-seekers can still have their fun in Yakushima. The island is not only famous for its calm wonders but also adrenaline-inducing experiences such as canyon rafting! Be sure to watch your step, so you don’t squish the adorable crabs!
8. Snorkeling with sea turtles in Yakushima
Besides the abundance of jellyfish-loving sea turtles, Yakushima snorkeling also entails pygmy seahorses clinging for dear life on sea fans. More company in the water comes in the way of black sided hawkfish, ambling goatfish, and sea goldies swirling around in schools!
9. SUP tours in Yakushima paradise
The Anbo river is among Japan’s most sought after SUP spots. Yakushima SUPs take you across the scenic flow of this stream, in addition to the diverse sea around the island. The calm brackish waters mix with the blankets of green for the most meditative experience!
10. Day trip on the island of waterfalls
The Janokuchi waterfall is a gently falling cascade of water, in divine seclusion on Yakushima island, while Ohko offers more dramatic gashes into a green pond. Yakushima features plenty of waterfall delight, including the powerful Senpiro waterfall that is responsible for a giant granite valley. It later on in the course leads to the Toroki falls!