Yakushima forest tours should be on the agenda of every visitor . Whether a long day hike to Jomon sugi or a short walk around Yakusugi Land, there is so much information to convey during a forest tour. Although there are forests at all altitudes (except above 1,500 meters) the main focus of Yakushima forest tours is within the temperate zone areas – ranging between 600 meters to 1,500 meters. In this region is where the large and ancient sugi trees reside – the most popular being the tree named Jomon sugi.
The entire island of Yakushima is one large forest, but to make navigation a little easier then sections of the forest are divided into areas. Some of these areas are included in the UNESCO World Heritage zones, some are in the National Park zone and some are within the Forestry Department zone. Occasionally, we go from one zone to another with only a little sign to remind us of the zone border.
Go Yakushima offer three forest tours that bring out the best of the island. Shiratani Unsuikyo is the most attended forest and all for the right reasons. It is a spectacular forest where the moss takes center stage. The Yakusugi Land tour is perhaps the easiest trail to walk upon and there is sense of the forest being more dense than at Shiratani Unsuikyo. Yakusugi Land has a larger selection of big sugi trees than at Shiratani Unsuikyo and it is also abundant in moss species. The Jomon sugi tour is an entirely different style of tour as it is much longer day in terms of both time and distance. It is a far more challenging hike with obviously less time for in-depth explanations along the way.