Hike through forest to Yakushima's sacred interior—a land of bamboo grass and rhododendrons dotted with huge boulders. At an elevation of 1,936 m, Miyanoura Dake is Kyūshū's highest peak. Although the coastal towns are hidden from view by the outer mountains, the rare clear day can afford a 360-degree view of the ocean including distant smoking volcanic islands and beautiful views of the interior mountains along the path. Hikers are more likely to encounter dynamic, unpredictable weather, and should prepare accordingly.
- Certified Guide List
- Town Page
- Hiking Notification
- Brochure and Island Map
- Trail Times
- Terrain Video
- Yakushima Life Page
Content last updated in 2020.
- Experience Level:
-Fixed ropes to assist scrambling.
- Trail Head Access:
- Car or Taxi
- 9~11 Hours
- Round Trip Distance:
- 17 km
- Trail Head Elevation:
- 1365 m
- Peak Elevation:
- 1936 m
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|Weather Cancellations||⚠⚠⚠⚠⚠ (Wind, snow, severe rain)|
The town of Yakushima recommends a voluntary donation of ¥1000
(valid for all World-Hertiage Site day hikes in one month) per hiker
and purchase of a disposable toilet kit.
For a guided hike expect to pay from ¥12,000 to ¥28,000 depending on season, number of hikers, options, etc.
The cost of a taxi from Anbo runs around ¥7,000 (2020) each way.
- Getting to the Trailhead (GPS coords: 30.3000, 130.5337):
- You can take a taxi or drive. The road from Anbo to the Yodogo Trailhead is about an hour's drive on a narrow, winding road. If you're driving, watch out for monkeys, deer, fallen objects, oncoming traffic, and the occasional cyclist. Most hikers leave the trail head well before dawn, often around 5am.
- At Park Entrance and rudimentary toilet 1.5km into the hike. Bring a toilet kit (wag bag) for use along the trail and carry out all waste and toilet paper.
- Also of interest:
- Kigen Sugi, Kuromi Daké
- Equipment List:
- Water Bottle, Lunch + Snacks, Headlamp + Batteries, First Aid Kit, Map, Compass, GPS, Rain Jacket + Rain Pants, Hiking Boots, Spare Jacket, Disposable Toilet Kit, etc.
- The Hike:
From the Yodogawa (Yodogo) Trail Head at an elevation of 1365
m, set out by dawn on a mountain trail over rough, sometimes
muddy, often slippery terrain. Keep your eyes open because less
than ten minutes into the hike, you'll pass the largest
Yakusugi on this trail (cryptomeria tree over 1,000-years old).
A half hour later, enter the World Natural Heritage Site, stop
by the Yodogo Hut, and cross the beautiful Yodogawa (Yodogo)
River. Many hikers choose to eat breakfast around the bridge
over the Yodogo River. The latrine at the hut is the last one
until you return.
From here, the trail starts to seriously ascend. Small trees begin to crowd the trail, making passage difficult in snowy months. There is a short boardwalk across Hana-no-Ego, Japan's southernmost high-altitude peat marsh, but as the trail approaches the forest line, you will encounter more exposed rock and several fixed ropes to help the ascent. After passing the turn-off for Kuromi Daké, you'll head towards a low point called Nageishi Daira, where flattish bolders make for a comfortable resting spot in good weather. In inclimate weather, you'll want to continue just a little farther to find some final shelter in the shadow of a boulder before leaving the forest behind and entering the realm of bamboo grass and rhododendrons. One of Yakushima's most famous sites is the rhododendron bloom in late May, when the rainy season gets underway. Any time of the year, you will likely cross paths with deer or perhaps monkeys. Don't try to sneak up on them.
Although this hike only climbs net 600m of vertical distance over 8 km to the peak and 8 km back, the terrain is very uneven with lots of up&down climbing. Especially if you a beginning hiker, I highly recommend a guide, but even experienced hikers will enjoy hitching a ride to/from the trail head with a hired guide.
- In the case of bad weather
This hike should not be attempted if the road to the trail head
becomes dangerous because of ice or threat of rockslides due to
particularly intense rain, if a severe weather warning is
issued, or if high winds or heavy snow is predicted. Lightning
storms are also possible in summer. In minimal snow conditions
from fall through spring, micros-spikes and
mini(instep)-crampons are recommended for icey patches. In
deeper snow, the trail may become burried, and postholing and
the steep, rocky terrain make hiking difficult. Tacchu Dake is
a fun alternative.
If a storm catches you well into your hike, you can try to take shelter in one of the two disposable toilet booths. Cellphone signals are strongest near the beginning of the trail, at the east end of Nageishi Daira, and at the very peak of Miyanoura Daké. For this hike, the safest escape route is usually the same route back to Yodogo Trail Head.