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The Official Kyushu Travel Guide

Yakushima National Park


This island off the southern coast of Kagoshima has a unique eco system that saw it declared a natural World Heritage site in 1993. The island has the highest mountain in Kyushu, dense, primeval cedar forests, and quiet beaches. You can take a leisurely stroll, forest bathe, or hike through the ancient forests. It takes ten hours to hike the return journey to Jomon Sugi, the oldest of the cedar trees, said to be anywhere between 2,000 and 7,200 years old.

The moss-covered forests of the Shiratani Unsuikyo ravine are said to have inspired the Studio Ghibli animation Princess Mononoke. For a change of pace, head to the ocean for snorkeling and other marine sports. Nagata Inakahama Beach, on the north side of the island, is a world-famous spawning area for sea turtles and a beautiful place to watch the sunset. There are several services on the island offering guided hikes. There is also a range of accommodations around the coast, from simple guesthouses to luxurious spa resorts.

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Nearby Yakushima National Park