If you can't rent a car or don't want to waste precious time waiting for buses that never leave the main road then how about booking a full day YES island tour? Learn about the rich history of the island, the unique culture and what it's like to live on Yakushima. On a full day tour you will be able to do a complete circuit of the island and stop off at many places of interest along the way.
Although there is a basic outline of the Island Tour, we will always try to adjust the itinerary of the tour if you have a specific request or interest. The tour itinerary can often change to adapt to the weather on the day or the season. Most of the sites we visit are on the unpopulated side of the island, where there are few shops and restaurants, and so we always provide a bento – a Japanese packed lunch. If you have dietary preferences then please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate them.
Places of interest that are sometimes included on the YES Island Tour are listed below. The order and direction of the Island Tour depends upon the guest`s hotel location and a variety of other factors.
Guests can also take this tour as a day-trip to Yakushima from Kagoshima as the guide would meet guests from the Miyanoura Port in the morning and return the guests to the port for the last ferry back to Kagoshima.
Of course, we can take advantage of the cool rivers in the summer and as you would expect we will also visit `unusual` places or little gems that we have discovered having lived on the island for years.
A sample of the places of interest that are sometimes (but not always) included on the YES Island Tour are listed below.
Matsumine Bridge – a short drive past green tea fields to the highest bridge over the Anbo River. This bridge is difficult to find unless you have local knowledge. The bridge offers quiet and beautiful views of Anbo River, the conifer and laurel leaf forests, and the surrounding mountain scenery. In the summer sea turtles can sometimes be spotted from the bridge.
Senpiro Waterfall – This waterfall sits at the back of an immense 'V' shaped granite valley that seems to belittle the waterfall which is actually a combined height of around 80 meters (there are two falls).
Torroki Waterfall – an unusual waterfall as it falls directly into the sea. There is a very photogenic scene with a red bridge and the imposing form of Mount Mocchomu in the background. Watch out for the shy, but equally photogenic, bright orange fresh-water crabs that often cross the path on the way. For those interested there can be a quick visit to the souvenir and local produce shop nearby.
Hirauchi Sea Spa – a stop off at the tidal hot spring. The hot spring can be entered a few hours before and after the low tide. It you fancy trying this unique experience then please let us know and we will do our best to time your visit with the low tides. Please note that this is a unisex hot spring and swim wear cannot be worn. Wearing a towel wrapped around your body in the water is allowed – though your fellow bathers might not bring their towel! If the tide is too high then you can walk down to the hot spring and take a close look at the pools without having to get naked.
Shinpachino Pottery – this charming, traditional pottery situated just off the main road in Hirauchi uses a wood-fired kiln and handmade glazes made from natural ingredients including corals. You will be able to talk to the potter who has lived on Yakushima for over 40 years and take a look at his traditional kiln. Take a look around his shop and watch him at work.
Nakama Village – a visit to the traditional village of Nakama, famous for its beautiful banyan tree. As you stroll through the narrow streets of this typical southern island community, you will get a glimpse of the living conditions and traditional island lifestyle of the local people. We often meet and chat to local people who are happy to share their time and stories (and quite often their local fruit produce). You also visit the beautifully tended Nakama graveyard where we will tell you a little of the Japanese funeral traditions and some interesting local history.
Ohko Waterfall – the most impressive of the waterfalls, selected as one of Japan's top 100 waterfalls, this 88 meter high surge of water ranges from a good flow of water to jaw-droppingly powerful depending upon how much rain has fallen. If you visit after heavy rain then it is a great sight! You can get very close to its spray by jumping across the rocks and view the emerald green pool at the base of the waterfall.
Seibu Rindo Forest path – drive through the World Heritage zone along this beautiful, narrow, winding road cut into the steep mountainside and enter the world of the Yakushika (Yakushima's native deer) and Yakuzaru (the native Yakushima macaque). This route usually offers plenty of chances to watch these animals in their natural environment, though just like people they may not be out and about when the weather is bad. Depending on the time schedule then we can take a short walk into the forest to a popular deer location.
Nagata – the golden sandy beaches of Nagata are a nesting site for the endangered loggerhead turtles. You can take a walk along the beach while your guide tells you all about these amazing creatures and if you visit between spring and mid-summer then you can see signs of the adult turtles that lay their eggs on the beach or the baby turtles that hatch from August through September. If there is time then you can also pay a visit to the Yoggo River Valley gorge, a wonderful natural swimming pool in a crystal clear river.
A visit to the popular green tea shop for a quick green tea ice cream or a visit and explanation around the tea processing plant. This visit also includes a drive through the green tea fields and we sometimes go to take a look over the high bridge with great views of Mt Aiko.
If you are leaving the island on the day of the tour then we can drop you directly at the port or airport instead.
The island tour can also be adjusted for those that do not have a full day on the island, but wish to see as much as possible in a shorter time frame.
Yakushima Island Tour per person
１person: 32,000円 | 2 people: 16,500円 each | 3 people: 14,000円 each |4 people＋: 12,000円 each
included in the price: lunch bento / transportation