Q: Is a guide necessary?
A: For those without mountain experience then a guide is invaluable. For those with experience then the guide uses your time on the island efficiently: no wrong turns and keeps the hike on schedule. Aside from the practicalities, the main purpose of the guide is to convey a lot of information regarding Yakushima along the way. It`s this information that makes all the difference to your experience on the island. We come across many travel blogs written by visitors who have clearly not employed a local guide and their information is woefully inaccurate.
Q: I have no hiking experience, so will hiking on Yakushima or walking the 10 hour hike to Jomon sugi be possible?
A: So long as you are in reasonable health then most of the treks are possible with the guide. However, some hikes require fitness as well as health. The guide will set the pace to suit your ability and will also get you to the destination and back again. If you have any fitness issues then please tell us in advance, so that we can make necessary adjustments to the tour. Also please check the Yakushima equipment list (PDF) to make sure you have the correct gear as an ill-prepared guests can sometimes force the tour to end prematurely.
Q: Can you take a large group booking of 10 people?
A: Yes. We frequently cater to large group bookings. There is no limit to the number of guests as we have a team of guides available to cater for large tour groups.
Q: Can I bring a Japanese friend on the tour with me even though they do not speak English?
A: Yes. The tour guide will be able to speak Japanese.
Q: Is food provided on the tours?
A: Yes. A lunch bento usually consisting of rice, fish, chicken and egg is provided on our tours. Please bring along some snacks should you like to nibble along the way. We will try to cater for guests with dietary restrictions, although specific restrictions such as gluten-free may mean that the guest is asked to bring along their own lunch.
Q: Can I pay for the tour with a credit card?
A: No. We accept cash-only and this is payable on the day of the tour. There are ATMs on Yakushima and sometimes the guide is able to take the guest to an ATM at the end of the tour. If the tour is for a large number of guests then we can make arrangements for an advance bank transfer.
Q: Can children come along?
A: Yes. Children under the age of 12 will be charged half the adult rate. Children aged 2 or under are free. .
Q: What if the weather is bad?
A: A tour or hike will be cancelled in the event of a typhoon. No cancellation charge is taken. Similarly, if your transportation to Yakushima is cancelled or delayed and this prevents you from joining the tour then no cancellation charge is taken. If it rains on the day of the tour then this will not force us to cancel a tour. We can usually provide an alternative route that is safe in heavy rain. If we cancel the tour then no charge is taken. In all other instances a cancellation charge will be taken
Q: Are hiking boots essential?
A: On all but the easy short treks, then hiking boots are highly recommended. Twisted ankles or worse injuries are highly likely with most other foot wear. As it rains a lot on Yakushima then normal shoes or sneakers would become wet very quickly. On the short hikes around Shiratani Unsuikyo or Yakusugi Land then good shoes or sneakers are OK, but not on the longer hikes around these areas. We can arrange hiking gear rental if required. Details can be sent on the Go Yakushima Tour booking form.
Q: Should I bring an umbrella?
A: Bringing a small and compact umbrella is useful when eating your lunch in the rain.
Q: Could you recommend a hotel on Yakushima?
A: Yes, we can find you good accommodation in a convenient location for your tour. Guests that are located in hotels far from the tour destination may be required to make their own way to a meeting point where they would meet the guide and transfer to their vehicle. If you plan to book the Jomon sugi tour then staying in the Anbo is recommended. Many visitors make the mistake of booking the hotel before considering their itinerary on Yakushima. We highly recommend you plan the itinerary first and then find accommodation that suits the itinerary. Most of your time on Yakushima is spent out of the hotel.
Q: When is the best time to visit Yakushima?
A: The spring and the fall are the best seasons for hiking, but then the whole nation considers this to the best time as well! In other words, the busiest time of the year on Yakushima is during the spring and fall. In the summer there are often ferry and flight cancellations due to typhoons, but the summer months provide fantastic water-time opportunities and the mountains are actually quite cool. In the winter the trails are quiet, but are sometimes closed due to heavy snow and ice (this has occurred less in recent years).
Q: Can I book other activities to do on Yakushima
A: Yes, we can arrange other activities for you and present them as a package. These activities include river kayak, sea kayak, SUP, canyoning, scuba diving & snorkeling.