While there is so much to see in Yakushima, here is my list of top 10 sights that should not be missed:
Kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding upriver from Anbo. The water is crystal clear and the forest meets the river on both sides.
Drive, ride or walk along the main road in the west of Yakushima through the UNESCO protected area and count how many deer and monkeys you can see.
Snorkel in a safe natural pool at the river mouth in Kurio and swim with fish from all colors of the rainbow.
Feel the spray of this giant waterfall after rainfall or let the water keep you cool when it's hot.
Watch giant turtles lay eggs on the beach (early summer only) or baby turtles hatching and running back to the sea (late summer).
Experience the forest and see the ancient Yakusugi trees up close on this maze of trails both long and short (Trail Y3).
This set of trails gives you a taste of being deep in the forest and you can hike up to a mountain hut and a viewpoint overlooking the interior (Trail S1).
See the oldest tree of them all. There is no easy way of getting there but few people leave Yakushima without seeing it (Trail O1).
Sit on a protruding rock high above the forest and survey the high mountains and deep valleys of Yakushima (Trail S1).
Climb the tallest mountain in Southern Japan and enjoy 360 degree views all over the mountains (Trail Y1 or M1).
For more information about Yakushima sights, check out the one and only Yakumonkey Guide to Yakushima