Yakusugi Land often takes second stage to Shiratani Unsuikyo. And while Jomon sugi may be the tree that everyone wants to see, there are other cryptomeria trees that may not be as old, but are just as impressive as Jomon sugi. You can usually be alone with these trees as you sit and have lunch under its canopy. Yamato sugi is one such tree. Anyone wishing to experience the ‘real’ Yakushima forest should consider booking this tour.
The hike begins from Yakusugi Land and it offers a flavor of things to come as we pass by Buddha sugi (@1800 years old). Yakusugi Land is an amazing forest that is far less visited than Shiratani Unsuikyo. The benefit of this is that it is quieter. There is an abundance of moss species and there are more ancient trees than can be found at Shiratani Unsuikyo. Yakusugi Land also has the advantage of the rivers being bridged which means that it is less likely to close than Shiratani Unsuikyo should there be heavy rain (making the rivers dangerous at Shiratani Unsuikyo).
Within about 45 minutes we leave the established Yakusugi Land trail and enter the ‘real’ forest walking along the less established Ishizuka Trail. This trail is rarely walked by trekkers and so we are usually alone most of the time. There are some wonderful trees along this route and there is a sense of adventure as the forest can be so dense at times. After a 2 hour hike we arrive at Yamato sugi – just in the UNESCO boundary area. Yamato sugi (@3000 – 3500 years old) sits in a quiet valley and it has an enormous presence. It is a pleasure to sit by the tree and enjoy a hard-earned lunch.
Level 3/5 | Distance: 8km | Time 6 – 7 hours | Altitude 1000 ～ 1200m
Guide Rate (per person)
1 person: 39,000円
2 people: 20,000円
3 people: 17,500円
4 or more: 15,000円
Included in the guide rate： lunch bento | transportation
Excluded from the guide rate : 500 yen per adult National Park entry