This overnight hike takes in 2 areas of interest: Shiratani Unsuikyo and the trail to Jomon sugi. Aside from the benefit of seeing two areas in one trip, this 2 day / 1 night hike means that you get to see Jomon sugi in peace and quiet as all the day-trekkers that can crowd this trail will have gone by the time you get to Jomon sugi.
The route of this trek follows that taken by the English botanist Ernest Henry Wilson in February 1914. Wilson visited Yakushima for 10 days at the beginning of his research around Japan between 1914 – 1915.
Just as Wilson did 100 year's ago, we begin along the Kusugawa Trail starting from Shiratani Unsuikyo. The Kusugawa Trail is a very old logging trail that was used by the wood-cutters working in the sugi tile trade. At the top of the Shiratani area we have time to climb up to Taiko Iwa and enjoy the view looking out over to the central mountains.
We descend for an hour before joining the Arakawa Trail and walk along the railway line for 90 minutes. This line was built just over 90 years ago to transport the lumber down to Anbo. It is still in use although the lumber industry in this area ceased in 1970.
We leave the railway line and begin walking along the Okabu Trail and within 30 minutes we come to Wilson's Stump – a huge sugi stump that was felled in the 1580's by order of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Wilson took a number of photographs of this stump and the surrounding area and only recently were these photographs discovered in an archive in the USA. So large is this stump that we can walk around inside it.
From Wilson's Stump we continue along the Okabu Trail passing a number of large and old sugi including Diao sugi until we finally reach Jomon sugi. There is plenty of time to enjoy the scene as the Takatsu hut is only a 10 minute walk away.
At the Takatsu Hut we set up 'camp' and tuck into a well-deserved evening meal. You may wish to visit Jomon sugi again for sunset.
The next morning there is another chance to see Jomon sugi in a tranquil setting, before we return along the same route towards Shiratani Unsuikyo. Going back in the opposite direction often gives you an opportunity to see the things you missed the day before.
Please be sure to read the equipment list for the 2 day / 1 night trek. At 1300 meters even the summer nights can be cold, so make sure you are well-prepared for this hike. Good rain wear is essentail as if you get wet on the first day then it will make for a very uncomfortable night in the hut.
There are plenty of water access points along this route.
Level: 3/5 | Distance: 12km a day ｜
Duration: 7 hours a day ｜Altitude: 600～1300m
Wilson Route (2 days / 1 night) per person
2 people: 47,000円 each | 3 people: 36,000円 each | 4 people＋: 30,000円 each
included in the price: 1st day lunch bento / evening meal / 2nd day breakfast & lunch / insurance / transportation
not included in the price: equipment rental