The Ryujin sugi course is for guests who wish to visit a quiet forest and would also like a challenging trek. The highlight of the trek is when we reach the area of the ‘three gods’ at the top of the valley. It is a magical area and spending an hour to look around the area is recommended.
Along the way there are some beautiful moss areas and scenes very similar to those found at Shiratani (but without the crowds!). If photography is a hobby then this course provides many opportunities for good photos.
The course is suitable only for guests in good health and for those not afraid to cross a river bridged by rocks. The climb is steep in places and using a pole for the first half of the descent is recommended. Poles are also useful when crossing rivers.
The course begins near Miyanoura and the first kilometre is an easy walk along a forestry road. Although we are constantly climbing throughout the course, the first half of the climb is not steep. We also walk along a disused railway line for a while (there were a total of five rail tracks built during the logging period on the island).
The second half of the climb is steeper, but once you step into the ‘three gods’ area then you soon forget the hard climb. There are a few large sugi in this area, but the 3 large ones are easily visible: Raijin sugi, Fujin sugi & Ryujin sugi. Raijin sugi is coming to the end of its life and walking underneath the tree is a great experience. Ryujin sugi is actually not that old compared to some other cryptomeria on Yakushima. The estimated age is that the tree is between 1,000 – 1,500 years old. However, looking at its size you would think it was older. The good news is that Ryujin sugi is a very healthy tree and appears to have hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ahead of it.
The Ryujin sugi course is dangerous during heavy rain as the rivers become impossible to cross. Also, during the summer months there are leeches along the trail, but then you are likely to get leeches along many of the Yakushima trails during the summer months.
There are plenty of places to re-fill the water canister along this trail.
Level 4/5 | Distance: 10km | Time 7 – 8 hours | Altitude 180 ～1300m
Guide Rate (per person)
１person: 37,000円 | 2 people: 19,000円 | 3 people: 18,000円 | 4 or more: 16,000円
Included in the guide rate： lunch bento | transportation