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Getting to Yakushima

Most visitors to Yakushima, whether traveling by air or sea, will pass through Kagoshima (see how to get to Kagoshima). The only way to circumvent Kagoshima is by taking a direct flight from Osaka or Fukuoka to Yakushima.

By high speed boat from Kagoshima

High speed jetfoil boats operate daily between Kagoshima (high speed ferry terminal of Kagoshima Port) and Yakushima (Miyanoura or Anbo Port). Direct boats depart every 1-3 hours (fewer in winter). It is also possible to travel via neighboring Tanegashima Island. The one way ride takes 2-3 hours depending on stops and cost 12,200 yen. A round trip ticket costs 22,300 yen and must be used within seven days. Online reservations can be made through Direct Ferries.

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By car ferry from Kagoshima

A daily car ferry leaves every morning from Kagoshima New Port (just south of the main Kagoshima Port) to Miyanoura Port on Yakushima, before returning to Kagoshima in the afternoon. The one way ride takes four hours and costs 6,000 yen. A round trip fare of 11,500 yen is available outside of the busy travel seasons (Golden Week, Obon and New Year). The cost for bringing an average sized car onto the ferry is about 25,500 yen one way.

By high speed boat from Ibusuki

There is one jetfoil per day between Miyanoura Port on Yakushima and Ibusuki on the Satsuma Peninsula. The one way ride takes 75 minutes and costs 9,800 yen. A round trip ticket costs 17,800 yen and must be used within seven days. Online reservations can be made through Direct Ferries.

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By air from Kagoshima

There are multiple flights per day between Kagoshima Airport and Yakushima Airport. Flight duration is 40 minutes. The regular one way fare is around 19,000 yen, but discount fares are usually available for around 10,000 to 16,000 yen. Flights are operated by Japan Air Commuter, a member of the JAL group. Note that Kagoshima Airport is located almost one hour outside the city center.

Airfares from Kagoshima to Yakushima over the next 30 days February 29, 2024 - March 29, 2024
AirlineLowest fareAverage lowest fare
JAC (JAL)10,755 yen12,081 yen
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By air from Osaka

Japan Air Commuter, a member of the JAL Group, operates one round trip per day between Osaka's Itami Airport and Yakushima. Flight duration is about 100 minutes. The regular one way fare is around 44,000 yen with discount fares available for around 21,000 to 38,000 yen.

Airfares from Osaka to Yakushima over the next 30 days February 29, 2024 - March 29, 2024
AirlineLowest fareAverage lowest fare
JAC (JAL)24,130 yen33,699 yen
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By air from Fukuoka

Japan Air Commuter, a member of the JAL Group, operates one round trip per day between Fukuoka and Yakushima. Flight duration is about one hour. The regular one way fare is around 32,000 yen, but discount fares are usually available from around 11,000 to 27,000 yen.

Airfares from Fukuoka to Yakushima over the next 30 days February 29, 2024 - March 29, 2024
AirlineLowest fareAverage lowest fare
JAC (JAL)13,640 yen20,623 yen
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Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Yakushima is developed all along its coast except in the west where the steep mountain slopes run all the way into the sea. A road encircles the island connecting the towns together, and the majority of Yakushima's hotels, beaches, hot springs, waterfalls and museums are within a short distance of it.

Yakushima's roads are easy to drive except for the one along the west coast as well as the ones that lead into the island's interior as they are narrow and winding. The cedar forests are located in the mountainous interior and are accessed by a few roads from the larger towns, such as Miyanoura and Anbo, which lead to the various hiking trails and nature parks.

Getting around by car

The most convenient way to get around Yakushima is by rental car. Rental car outlets are located at Miyanoura Port and at the airport. A car is the only way to access some of the trailheads and to circle the entire island, because buses do not operate along the narrow road along the western coast. It takes about three hours to circle the island by car. Note, that the Arakawa trailhead cannot be access by car (except in winter). Use a shuttle bus instead.

Getting around by bus

Yakushima is served by two bus operators: Tanegashima-Yakushima Kotsu and Matsubanda Kotsu.

Buses run about once per hour along Yakushima's coast except along the west coast (between Nagata and Okonotaki). Buses into the interior are less frequent: there are lines from Miyanoura Port to Shiratani Unsuikyo and from Anbo Town to Yakusugi Land and the Kigensugi. From March to November, access to the Arakawa trailhead is provided by shuttle buses from the Yakusugi Museum (also known as Yakusugi Shizenkan).

A 1-day, 3-day and 4-day bus pass are available for 2000, 3000 and 4000 yen respectively; however, they are only valid on buses operated by Tanegashima-Yakushima Kotsu. They are not valid on buses operated by Matsubanda Kotsu and on the shuttle buses.