YAMATOSUGI COURSE (5-7 hours)
This is one of Yakushima`s more secret courses, taking you deep into temperate forest to see a grand old tree… Yamatosugi. At 35m tall and between 3000-4000 years old, Yamatosugi is well worth the hike.
- JPY20,000 (private solo guide)
- JPY18,000 (per person for 2 clients)
- JPY15,000 (per person for 3 clients)
- JPY12,500 (per person for groups of 4 or more)
- Solid footwear
- Waterproof jacket
- Spare warm layer
- Sun hat & Warm hat
- 2 litre water capacity
- Lunch included but bring extra snacks!
- Day Pack (25-35 litre)
- Moderate/Difficult (Mountain Trail, Unclear Route)
The Yamatosugi Trail is a stunning hike for plant lovers. This deep forest hike often has no-one else on the trail, and the valley systems keep large areas of moss damp and incredibly green.
The trail starts at the Yakusugiland Course up Yakushima`s highest mountain road. From the start there are many awesome large tree varieties such as Stuartia, Yamaguru, Japanese Hemlock, Japanese Fir, Hinoki Cypress, Akagashi Oak, Black Pine and of course the famous Japanese Sugi which make the entire course truly enjoyable.
Two-thirds of the way through the hike we enter into the World Heritage Area. This designation was given to Yakushima in December 1993, with the 20th anniversary recently celebrated. This designation is important to Japan as Yakushima was the first UNESCO World Heritage Park based on ecological significance. While it is actually impossible to distinguish between forest that is UNESCO and National Park, it is always nice to pass the signpost announcing the World Heritage Area.
After hiking further into the UNESCO area we eventually come to the Yamatosugi signpost. It is important not to carry on from here as the trail goes all the way to Ishizuka Hut & Hananoego alpine moorland another 5 hours hike away (Ishizuka is one of our overnight hikes which require more gear and more time, contact us for more details on the overnight option).
I have found taking photos of the forest giants in Yakushima to be very challenging, it is difficult to grasp its size and energy with pixels, so visiting in person is the only way to truly experience these wonderful beings…