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 traditional 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 passed 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 OFF U GO.

For more information about Yakushima - check out the one and only Yakumonkey Guide to Yakushima

Yakushima Guide book


Hey, I really want to go to Yakushima. I plan arriving around August the 16th and leave the 19th. So that gives me two full days (17th,18th) to explore the island. I am into hiking. I heard there is a very long hike which includes climbing the highest peak as well as seeing the "mother tree" the most famous of the old trees. I heard that you can not complete this hike in one day so you need to spend the night in the forest. Can you give me some information about this? Is there something I absolutely need to survive? Thanks a lot in advance. Anton

Hello Anton, You're referring to a combination of the Yodogawa trail (1 hut) to Mt.Miyanoura, the Okabu trail (2 huts) to Jomon Sugi tree and the Arakawa trail (no huts) or Kusugawa trail (1 hut) which lots of people follow when hiking in the mountains. You can stay at one of the huts en route. There's info on this site about these and they're fully covered in the book. Have a nice trip.
Hi Yakumonkey, I will be arriving in Yakushima hopefully on 27 October and leave on 29 October so will have 2 full days and 2 nights there. Is this date a good time to go? For this 2 short days, what would be your recommended itinerary?
Yes, October is a great time to go. The long path at Shiratani Unsuikyu can show you how the forest is without having to hike for too long (a couple of hours), combine that with an onsen and a drive to see the waterfalls in the south and that should cover 2 days.
Hi Yakumonkey, thanks for your really quick reply. Just a few more question, due to lack of time, we are planning to skip Kagoshima, Mount Aso, Beppu etc and go straight from Yakushima to Nagasaki. Are there any ferry or hydrofoil that goes all the way there? We plan to stay one night in Nagasaki then go straight to Kyoto. Also, news reports just came out about Fukushima leaking 300tons of radioactive water everyday. Is the sea and seaside onsens in Yakushima safe? Could there be leakage drifted down to the southern part of Japan? Thanks in advance for your advice. Ken
Yakushima is only connected by boat to Kagoshima so from Kagoshima you would need to catch a bus or train. Fukushima is a long, long way away. Not a chance. Besides the Kuroshio current that flows past Yakushima only goes in one direction, northwards towards mainland Japan. The garbage floating in the sea off Yakushima almost always has Chinese writing on it because it comes from Taiwan and is brought up by the Kuroshio current. It is impossible for anything to come from the other direction. So don't let the news about Fukushima worry you about a trip to Yakushima.
Hi, my family owns some land and a house on Yakushima and I will be moving there as soon as i can. I have planned and will be a guide, beekeeper and a gardener, is there any advice you could spare? I will be moving there with my husband, we are both Gaijin, but I speak fluent Japanese (I will get better at kanji) and he is learning to. What kind of things did you do to live on Yakushima during the winter when there are less tourists? What kinds of things did you do year round?
Good luck on your move to Yakushima. Yes, winter is a problem for lots of people on Yakushima. I was employed as a craftsman with a set wage all year round - winter was in fact busier than summer - so I didn't have the same issues that a lot of people have when the tourism winds up for the year. I think the key is to be creative and find something that is sustainable in the lean months of the year.
Hello, thank you for your article on Yakushima. Very interesting! We are two French people and we would like to go to Yakushima to hike the 2-3 day trek through the island. We have two options : (A) second part of May or (B) first part of July. The two things we would like to avoid are rainy season and too many tourists! We do not find reliable information about the rainy season on internet (from may to july on Kagoshima's web site). Could you please give us some advices about our trip? Thank you very much.
Hello Arnaud. The first part of July is in rainy season but the second part of May isn't. It is changeable but usually the rainy season covers June and the beginning of July.
Hello Yakumonkey, We plan to go to Yakushima from Beppu, what is the best way to go to Yukushima? What I thought was taking a train to Kagoshima and took a high speed boat to Yakushima, and rent a small car or a bike to our Yakushima guest house in the South. Is that any way else you could suggest to save a budget? thanks.
If you're on a budget and time isn't an object - take the Oita bus from Beppu to Kagoshima, the Hibiscus ferry from Kagoshima to Yakushima and rent a scooter.
Hi Yakumonkey, our little family (with adult kids!) is going to Japan in two weeks... beginning of january... would it be a good idea to go for 4-5 days on Yakushima island? For the quietness, the hiking possibilities... Is January ok? is 4-5 days too much? Thank you for your site, and i will also try to find the answer in your book!
The trouble with January is that it's cold up in the mountains and there's thick snow. The roads into the higher mountains are often blocked which causes access problems. But yes, it will be very quiet!