Yakushima is a Japanese island that is well-known for its ancient cedar trees. These ancient trees that are thousands of years old are called yakusugi.
This island was logged long ago to produce shingles, but the area was protected and the forest has grown back up since then. Tall mountains rise up to the sky on this island, with rain falling almost every day.
On lower land, there is high humidity, while the upper peaks of the mountains may be covered in snow during certain times of the year.
Yakushima is a must-see for nature lovers, tree lovers, and those who love to hike.
Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine
The Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a beautiful green park that is home to very old cedar trees, including the Kugurisugi, the Yayoisugi, and the Nidaiosugi. Visitors don’t have to be advanced hikers to be able to enjoy some of the best sights here.
There are various hiking trails for all levels that go throughout this park, from historic trails to paved trails. Trail lengths vary from one hour up to 12 hours. The beauty of this ravine has inspired many, including a movie.
The Jomonsugi, the most popular attraction at Yakushima, is a huge cedar tree that is estimated to be between two thousand to seven thousand years old, making it the oldest tree in the country. This tree is short for its age at a height of 25 meters, but it has a diameter of 5 meters.
Other interesting trees in this area include two trees that look like a couple holding each other, one of the biggest trees on this island, and a 300-year-old hollow stump.
Yakusugi Land is another beautiful park full of ancient trees. The yakusugi trees that grow here are all cedars that are over one thousand years old. There are a variety of well-maintained trails going through the park, with some of the best sights of the trees close to the parking lot.
- UNESCO Official Site
- Yakushima (Island) National Park [MOE]
- The Fairytale Forests of Yakushima - Atlas Obscura
- Yakushima, Japan: an island of natural wonders | Travel | The Guardian
- Enjoy trekking in the mystic forest of Yakushima Island | JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine
- Yakushima Travel Guide - Japan Guide
- Yakushima Guide | JapanVisitor Japan Travel Guide