There are many beautiful hiking trails in Yakushima both long and short.
In my guide book (nudge! nudge!) I detail and map 15 different trails from all over the island
Yakusugiland, Shiratani Unsuikyo, Arakawa trail, Okabu trail, Yodogawa trail, Kusugawa trail, Onoaida trail, Mt.Mochomu trail, Mt.Tachu trail, Mt.Aiko trail, Yudomari trail, Kurio trail, Hanayama trail, Nagata trail and Yakusando trail (phew!).In this collection of hikes there is something for absolutely everyone.
Many visitors are interested in one of the three key trails which head into the interior of the island to visit Jomon sugi and Mt.Miyanoura. You will find a brief description of them in the links below. In great detail however (cough! cough!) in my guide book.
THE MOST POPULAR TRAILS
The classic trail to see Jomon sugi, the oldest tree on the island.
The most accessible trail in the mountains and an alternative route to Jomon Sugi.
The mountain trail leading you to the peak of the tallest mountain on Yakushima.
OTHER INTERESTING HIKES
A series of trails from easy to hard to really experience the forest and see yakusugi trees.
A challenging trail on the coastal mountain above Onoaida.
The Onoaida trail to the waterfall starts and finishes at Onoaida onsen which has a foot bath!
For more information about hiking in Yakushima - check out the one and only Yakumonkey Guide to Yakushima
Hello, Thanks for your response and the Yakumonkey book! My friend and I have been reading it avidly, as we prepare for our trip to Yakushima later this week.
I have a few more specific questions. Thanks for your help.
We are deliberating over which hikes/trails will best suit our interest, and we are hoping you could offer some suggestions. After reading through the hikes in the Yakumonkey Guide, we aren't sure exactly how many of the trails we will be able to cover.
We are both young, fit competitive trail runners and climbers. We would like to cover the more challenging trails on the mountain. We have climbing gear, but are thinking of leaving it behind, as it likely won't be necessary. We would much prefer the more remote, less tracked trails to the moderate level busy trails. We would like to visit Jomonsugi, Wilson's Stump, and Yakusugi Land also want to access the more remote areas of the island.
We have three nights on the island. We arrive at 12:40 on Friday, and we're hoping to at least make it up to one of the huts by nightfall. We would already be prepared with our gear, so we were thinking of crushing the Arakawa Trail, thus getting to Jomonsugi by late afternoon to avoid crowds. Does this sound possible? Also, we'll be arriving on the Jetfoil, and how do you suggest reaching the trailhead from the port. We will not be renting a car, and we are more than open to hitchhiking.
Our first night we're thinking of staying in the Shin-Takatsuka Hut. Then we have two more full days of hiking. We definitely want to summit Miyanoura, so we'll likely do the Yodogawa Trail. However after that, we want to do the more challenging trails. Which do you recommend? We'd much prefer anything technical and really challenging, as we're very comfortable and confident in our ability. We also move at a swift pace. We'll definitely take our time through the forest to maximize the experience, but we also want to challenge ourselves throughout our hiking.
What hut would you recommend us trying to stay in our second night? On our third day we'll have another full day of hiking. We're wondering between the Nagata Trail, Ishizuka Trail, Aiko Dake Trail. Ideally, we'd like to end up at one of the nicer remote beaches and camp along the beach (or in an official campground). We'll be very discreet about it if not in an official place? What beach to you recommend? Inakahama beach seems nice, especially if we take the Nagata Trail? One last thing we'd like to do is find a nice onsen. Any suggestions?
On our fourth day, we'll be back to the port to catch the ferry around 11:00AM.
Thanks a lot for your help. What we're most confused about, is which trails make the most sense to link up.
Much appreciated, Benjamin
Hello Benjamin. OK I'll try to answer some of your queries. Which jet foil are you on? Is there one that arrives at 12.40? If you're coming via Miyanoura, your best bet is to go up to Shiratani. Depending on your exact arrival, you could jump on a bus all the way up or failing that take the Kusugawa trail (a short bus ride south). From Shiratani (If you hit any snags in your plans - there's always Shiratani hut) you can meet the Arakawa trail half way and carry on past Jomon Sugi to the Takatsuka or Shin Takatsuka huts. That's the possibility of three huts to sleep in. Don't worry about crowds for Jomon sugi - there shouldn't be many people at this time of year!
For the next day, Nagata hut would be close to sleep in, although the Nagata trail should be challenging as it's so rarely used nowadays. Ishizuka hut is a bit further away and from there you'd have the choice of Ishizuka, Kurio or Yodogawa trails.
Thanks so far. Been a huge help. We'll be arriving on the Tane-Yaku Jetfoil (#114), supposedly arriving at 12:40. Sorry my friend did the ferry booking, so that's all the info. I have at the moment. Getting excited, Thanks!!
Ok so you arrive at 13:20 at Anbo Port. That changes things a bit. As far as buses go you've got a choice - there's a bus from Anbo port to Kigensugi (Yakusugiland or the start of Yodogawa trail) at 13.31 and one to Miyanoura which leaves Anbo port at 13.42. This one to Miyanoura gets there around 14.20 and you can connect with the next bus to Shiratani leaves Miyanoura port at 15.30. These are the quickest routes into the mountains from that jet foil.
As far as onsens go, the one at the bottom of the Onoaida trail is great if you come down that way. It's right at the trail entrance. The two open air onsens are also fun - Hirauchi and Yudomari. Of the more expensive ones try Manten, JR hotel or Hotel Tsuwanoya.
For camping, as it is out of season be discrete and you should have no problems. If you go to Inakahama, stay near the edges as it's a protected beach (the giant turtles). There should be plenty of places where you should find a quiet spot around the coast wherever you are.
Alright, looks like we're pretty well set. We'll plan on getting to Shiratani via Miyanoura then hoofing into the forest for our first night, staying in either the Shiratani, Takatsuka, or Shin-Takatsuka Huts. Our second day we'll hike up to Miyanoura Dake, then make our way to either the Yodogawa or Ishizuka Hut. Our final day of hiking we'll plan on making it all the way south and get to the Yudomari and Hirauchi Onsen.
The only question I still have is, what do you recommend as far as getting back up to Miyanoura? We will need to catch a 10:45 ferry from Miyanoura. What area in the south would we have our best bet catching a bus back north? We figure we'll get a jump on the morning and get up at sunrise so we don't cut it too close. How long would a bus take to get back north, about two hours?
Thanks again, your posts and the Yakumonkey book have been soooo helpful.
If you're on the south side of the island. There are 3 buses you could take - they leave from Kurio at 06.44, 07.59 and 08.24 and arrive at Miyanoura port at 08.20, 09.35 and 10.00 respectively. You can pick them up on the way, depending where you are.Hi, My friend and I plan to visit the island the 24th of Feb for 2 nights. As you have given valuable comments to other posts I hope you can be so kind to help us with information as well. We would like to hike to see the wonderful trees and nature. We are fit but inexperienced hikers. Can you give us an update on the trail/ snow conditions whether it is possible to hike (eg the 10 hour hike) and whether we can do this on our own or a guide is recommended. If there is a knowledgable guide available we might even prefer so we can learn more about what we see. Looking forward to your response. Kind regards Francisca
The conditions are of course changeable but as of a week ago, the snow began at Wilson's stump on the Okabu trail and Jomon sugi had 5 cm of snow. From there upwards the snow will increase in depth. Hiking by yourself all depends on your equipment and experience in hiking in cold conditions - it's off season for mountain guiding but you could try Cameron at yakushimaexperience.comWe are fit but inexperienced hikers. We have 2 full days on the island. We would hike to hike for no more than 4 hours per day and would prefer easy, safe trails. Pls kindly recommend the best trails. Thanks
Hi! In first thanks for you books :) i have some more questions. We are planing (we are two friends) to come in yakushima during 4 days around the 9 september. After one night in a hotel, We would like to do kusagawa trail ambo trail okabu trail and sleep in the hut to see the next day the miyanoura dake. In this period the hut aren't full isn't it? If the weather is not with us is it possible to find accommodation without reservation?
September can sometimes be very busy - it depends on the day. Here's a rough guide to how busy it can be: the-best-time-to-visit-jomon-sugi. It's first-come first-served for the huts so if you arrive early, you can reserve your place. If you need other accommodation, you should be able to find something as the schools have gone back but weekends may be more difficult.Hi there, My husband and I are scheduled to visit Yakushima next week with our kids, 8 and 10. Do you have recommendations on hikes or other activities, sites they might enjoy? They are both good though not necessarily eager hikers. Knowing that, would you suggest taking them to see Wilson's stump and the Jomon Sugi? I have ordered your book, by the way, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for your thoughts.
I'd go more for Yakusugiland or Shiratani Unsuikyo if the weather allows it. Jomon sugi is often too far for that age group and everyone ends up being miserable.Hello! I have question regarding hiking in Yakushima. Is possible to go Shiratani Unsuikyo trail and then continue to Takatsuka hut? (We will arrive with Ferry around 12:30 in the port) We would like to spend a night in Taratsuka cabin and then continue to Yodogawa hut and sleep there... is it doable? Or are the routes not connected to each other? Thank you very much!! Tereza