Arakawa Trail

The Arakawa trail is the most used path on Yakushima as it goes past the most famous of Sugi trees - Jomon Sugi.

The route starts at the old railway terminal and follows the train tracks past the following places...

An abandoned wagon at the beginning of the trail
A bridge for the stream
Water flows over the tracks and drops down the other side

... and onto KOSUGIDANI, an abandoned logging village beside the river.

Here is a short guide to the Arakawa trail up to here made by myself and George (who will kill me when he finds out I did actually upload it so enjoy it before he takes out a parental court case and removes both me and it from his home).

WILSON'S STUMP - an extremely large tree stump

Wilson's Stump

JOMON SUGI - the oldest tree of them all:

Jomon Sugi

TAKATSUKA HUT (see the section on the mountain huts) - to stay.

Takasuka hut


I have hiked this route many times. It's a bit tough but Jomon Sugi and back again is a day trip. Most tourists start at an obscenely early time in the morning but that is only because they have to get back and bathed before dinner time in their hotel. I once did the return trip in 6 hours by myself but then again 12 hours with my family. The average is around 9 hours.

The path is incredibly monotonous in places - especially the railway track and in comparison with some of the other trees on the island which are less visited and more accessible (yet equally impressive), it's a bit of a let down.

There are no sweeping views on the path so if it is cloudy and raining, despite the soggy waterproofs, it's still OK to hike. In fact, sometimes the forest is more beautiful in the rain. And unless you're particularly interested in the local flora and fauna, you don't need a guide as the path is unmistakable all the way.

For more information about hiking along the Arakawa trail - check out the one and only Yakumonkey Guide to Yakushima

Yakushima Guide book