About Yakushima

Location/Getting to Yakushima

Yakushima is part of Kagoshima Prefecture. The straight-line distance from Kagoshima City to the island is about 120 kilometers and approx. 60 km from Cape Sata on the southern tip of the Osumi Peninsula. The island’s circumference is approx. 105 km and it covers a land area of 500 square kilo-meters, making it a smaller island, than Awaji Island with a land area of 596 square kilo-meters. Kyushu’s so-called “Best Five” tall mountains are all on Yakushima.

Climate

The average temperature on Yakushima in January is 11 degrees Celsius, compared to 6 degrees in Kagoshima City. Compared to Tokyo and Osaka, where the average January temperatures around 2 to 3 degrees, Yakushima is 7 to 8 degrees warmer during the cold season. This is due to the fact Yakushima is directly in the path of the Japan Current.

Although it is said that “it rains 35 days a month” in Yakushima, the northwestern and southeastern parts of the islands experience remarkably different rain conditions due to its steep mountains. The Anbo region, which is the planned site for the construction of the Private Village and the location of tourist spots, is situated on the southeastern side. Although pounding, squall-like rain falls from time to time due to the effects of the south-seas climate, the number of sunny days is surprisingly high. Safe to say the climate resembles that of Okinawa.

The front and back of the mountains that rise in the island’s center create clear differences of climate. The areas in the shade of the mountains can be covered in snow during winter, while at the same time those on the exposed side can have clear and dry weather.

Nearby Tourist Spots

Miyanouradake
Towering from the center of Yakushima, this is one of Japan’s 100 famous mountains. At a majestic 1,936-meters above sea level, the mountain is famous for being the highest in Kyushu. The Anbo Forest Road, which was created back when the area was a base for the forestry industry, runs through the area and nowadays serves as a route for mountain climbers.
Senpiro Waterfall
This dynamic waterfall is known as one of Yakushima’s quintessential tourist spots. Here, sheets of water rise up, swirl and fall from a height of 60 meters, all to the sound of roaring water. Most of Yakushima is made of granite, so the highlight is the view from the observation deck of the beautiful contrast between the exposed rock and the whiteness of the water.
Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen
This is a natural hot spring on the southern side of Yakushima that gushes out of rocks along the coast. Soaking time is the two-hour period before or after low tide, as the bath lies lower than the ocean surface.
The spring water is sulfurous (with a temperature of 45 degrees centigrade) and is said to be effective for neuralgia, chronic skin disease, chronic diseases affecting women, diabetes, etc.
Miyanouradake Senpiro Waterfall