One of the most pressing environmental problems on Yakushima is the human waste that is produced by thousands of tourists who walk the trails every year. The tanks of waste that accumulate at each of the huts have to be quite literally carried down the mountain on the backs of local people. One of the solutions of this toilet problem is to encourage tourists to buy their own toilet bags which they can carry with them and deposit, at the end of their trek, into designated containers.
|Yakusugi toilet structure being assembled|
When this idea was given limited trials back in 2008, we at Kashima Kogen were tasked with producing a toilet fit for the purpose. You could not have a plastic or concrete structure on a protected nature trail so we made one using the most obvious material - 1000 year old yakusugi. The photo above shows you the toilet being constructed in our workshop. Each panel was made from the bark of Yakusugi and these were locked into place with a light wooden frame. The finished product you can sample yourself on the Kobana trail in Yakusugiland.
|Yakusugi toilet on the Kobana trail at Yakusugiland|
|Instructions for toilet|
|Disposal container at Shiratani Unsuikyo|
For more information about Yakushima check out Yakushima: A Yakumonkey Guide