Yakushima Fact 1

The dense forests that cover Yakushima go right up to the shoreline with an astonishing 95.5% of the island owned and managed by the forestry department.

Yakushima Fact 2

The mountainous inland region is officially the wettest place in Japan. Most of Japan has an average of 1,000-2,000 mm of rainfall per year but Yakushima has over 10,000 mm of rainfall a year (Don't forget your raincoat!)

Yakushima Fact 3

Yakushima has the tallest mountain in southern Japan. Miyanoura dake is 1935 m high and offers 360 degree-views above the forest canopy.

Yakushima Fact 4

There are around 7,000 wild Yakuzaru monkeys and an equal number of Yakushika deer, both unique sub-species only found on Yakushima. Together they out-number the island residents.

Yakushima Fact 5

Yakushima has some of the oldest trees in the world. The most famous living yakusugi tree is Jomon Sugi which is believed to be 2,600-7,200 years old!

Welcome to Yakushima in 2016!

Welcome to yakumonkey.com - the home of Yakushima: A Yakumonkey Guide.

Most tourists come to Yakushima island for a sense of adventure and in these pages and the Yakushima guide you'll find lots of tourist information to help you create that special magical Yakushima adventure.

In fact - you'll find in this site information on Yakushima much of which you won't find anywhere else. This is because I've lived and breathed Yakushima as a crew member on a flying fish boat, as a Yakusugi craftsman, battered by typhoons, sucked by leeches, lounged with giant turtles and chased by monkeys. Basically, because it's personal and all of the little tricks and tips that I picked up, I've passsed on to you.

If you wish to find out more then please check out Yakushima: A Yakumonkey Guide - it really has everything you need to enjoy Yakushima, free and independently.

Check out the hundreds of comments at the bottom of each page, the Yakushima forum, our interactive ratings and polls, join our facebook and participate in your Yakushima visit.

In the meantime, the best place to start with Yakushima is with the basics, so here goes...

Yakushima is a Japanese forested island at the top of the Ryukyu chain of islands and famous for its ancient cedar forests, high mountains and its status as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Map of Japan and Yakushima

The island is stunningly green with 90% forest and has over 40 mountains. There are several settlements around the island, none much larger than a village and none in the west where the UNESCO area extends to the sea. There are 13,585 people (6,665 men and 6,920 women) living in these settlements, the largest of which is Miyanoura in the north followed by Anbo in the east. Both of which officially lie in Yaku town, although in reality there is no such place.

This is the bustling metropolis of Miyanoura: (Click to see from a live 24 hour camera in Miyanoura)

Miyanoura, Yakushima

And this is an equally happening Anbo: (Click to see from a live 24 hour camera in Anbo)

Anbo, Yakushima

There are around 7000 wild deer and about the same number of wild monkeys and they roam freely around the island. I can't think of a single day I haven't seen either somewhere around. At night deer calls are a very common sound almost anywhere.

Here's a map of the protected areas of Yakushima. The darker blue colour on the map below shows the UNESCO area, the light blue shows areas of special forestry protection and the pink is the national park. The rest is forest right up to the coastline.

Map of Yakushima

To get your bearings when you look at the rest of the information - here is a map in English:

Map of Yakushima (English)

So take a look around, enjoy the delights of Yakushima and let me know what you think or ask a question in the comments section below.

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