The Miyanouradake – Jomon Sugi Overnight Tour takes us through the wonderful sub-alpine area of Yakushima. We ascend above the trees of the temperate zone and traverse the central mountains including highest peak the highest peak in Kyushu – Miyanouradake (1,936m) and visit Japan`s oldest tree – Jomon Sugi – on the descent.
Guests will be carrying a heavy pack and over the course of the 2 days and so you should be in good health & fitness. There is always the potential of a downpour in these areas of the island and so good hiking gear is essential (we can arrange hiking gear rental on the island).
The Miyanouradake – Jomon Sugi Overnight Tour requires an early start on the first day and after arriving to the Yodogawa Mountain entry, the tour begins through the upper level of the temperate forest zone.
The Hana no Ego marshland is a wonderful place to take a break. This marshland is the crossroads of five major trails in the center of the island. Situated at this crossroad are two shrine (hokora) and your guide can inform you of the cultural significance of these shrines.
Perhaps the best time to undertake this tour is late spring when the mountains are covered with the pinks and white blossom of the Yakushima rhododendrons. Other sub-alpine species include junipers and an endemic dwarf bamboo. The summer season brings out many small and delicate alpine flowers.
The climb to the summit of Miyanouradake (1,936m) is the goal of the first day. Along the way to the mountain there is a wonderful rocky plateau to take a break and a few short and easy rope climbing sections. Up on the highland, the granite rock structures look as though they have been carved and it is little wonder that the islanders believed the mountains were (are) the land of the gods. There are a few well-hidden pilgrimage locations along the route to the summit of Miyanouradake and we can stop by and offer our respects to the gods.
The 360 panorama view from the summit of Miyanouradake is outstanding. Several volcano in the distance can be seen including the very active Kuchinoerabujima. On very clear days then the Kyushu mainland is visible.
The descent from Miyanouradake to the mountain hut takes around 2.5 hours. We spend the night at 1,460 m and at this elevation it can get cold after sunset. The basic mountain hut offers a dry location to shelter and if it`s raining then sleeping in the hut would be recommended. If not raining, then sleeping outside in a tent would always be a better option as the huts can be noisy and sometimes FULL! The guide will prepare the evening meal while the guests can relax and prepare for the night.
The next morning commences with breakfast before we descend back down into the temperate forest. Early in the descent we arrive to Jomon Sugi. This is a magnificent & majestic tree that is aged around 4,500 – 5,000 years. The benefit of the overnight tour is that we arrive this very popular destination before the day-return hikers. Further down the trail is another huge old tree – Daio sugi.
By mid-morning we arrive to Wilson Stump. This landmark is always a highlight of this tour and walking inside the stump is an awesome experience. In recent years it has gained fame for the “heart-shape” that is visible when sitting in a certain location of the stump. The guide will offer information regarding the stump and its significance.
Thirty minutes beyond Wilson stump we reach the old logging railway track. At a steady pace, we amble down the tracks, through the forest and finally enter the abandoned logging village of Kosugidani. Lunch will be prepared at a location along the railway line. If time and weather permit, then near the Kosugidani village there is a quiet and relaxing river spot.
The final hour continues along the railway line and we exit at the Arakawa Mountain entry where the Arakawa Mountain entry bus can return us back down to Anbo.
There are many water access points along this hike.
Please be sure to read the Yakushima hiking gear list (PDF) for the overnight tour. At 1,300 meters even the summer nights can be cool, so make sure you are well-prepared for this hike. Good rain wear is essential as if you get wet on the first day then it will make for a very uncomfortable night in the hut.
Level: 5/5 | Distance: 24km | Time: 9 hours per day | Altitude: 600 ～ 1,936m
Guide Rate (per person)
2 people: 73,000円
3 people: 63,000円
4 or more: 56,500円
included in the price: 1st day lunch bento / evening meal / 2nd day breakfast & lunch / transportation
not included in the price: equipment rental & environment maintenance fee (2,000 yen per person) / taxi fare / bus fare (including the guide`s fare) / 1st day breakfast