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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kyushu
Yakushima 
# 99   of 179 destinations
in our travel guide

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Yakushima (屋久島) is a subtropical island off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is covered by an extensive cedar forest that contains some of Japan's oldest living trees. Trees more than 1000 years old are affectionately called yakusugi (a combination of Yakushima and sugi, the Japanese word for cedar), the most ancient of which may be over 7000 years old.

The island's cedar forests were logged extensively in the past, particularly during the Edo Period for the production of cedar shingles. Today the forests have well recovered from past logging and are a national park, while some areas were declared a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Most tourists come to the island to hike through the forests and see the ancient cedar trees.

As a subtropical island with nearly 2000 meter high mountains, Yakushima attracts a lot of rainfall around the year, with a local saying claiming that it rains "35 days a month". While that may be an exaggeration, there is some rain almost on a daily basis, especially in the mountainous interior, although the rain can also be light and limited to short periods of time. In higher elevations the precipitation falls as snow during the winter months.

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Attractions
 1  Shiratani Unsuikyo
Inspiration for the film Princess Mononoke.
User rating: 93/100 (54 votes)
Visited by: 98 users
 2  Jomonsugi
A 2000 to 7200 year old cedar tree.
User rating: 93/100 (43 votes)
Visited by: 90 users
 3  Yakusugi Land
Easy place to see Yakusugi on Yakushima.
User rating: 94/100 (35 votes)
Visited by: 73 users
 4  Around the Island
Other attractions around the island.
User rating: 94/100 (62 votes)
Visited by: 118 users
  

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Yakushima.

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User Ratings
Ratings for Yakushima:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of the best  
User Rating (by 99 users):
96/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 167):
1.  Yaeyama Islands   97/100
2.  Kyoto   97/100
3.  Yakushima   96/100
4.  Miyajima   96/100
5.  Tokyo   95/100
6.  Mount Fuji   95/100
7.  Ogasawara Islands   95/100
8.  Mount Koya   93/100
9.  Okinawa Island   93/100
10.  Alpine Route   93/100
Most visited destinations (out of 179):
94.  Daisetsuzan   256
95.  Kushiro Marshlands   246
96.  Kumano   227
97.  Noto Peninsula   215
98.  Minakami   205
99.  Yakushima   200
100.  Kirishima   199
101.  Kitakyushu   199
102.  Yamadera   195
103.  Yamanouchi   193

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Japanese Links
Yakushima Town
Official website.

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