Update : December 27, 2013

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Nature of Yakushima

Climate & Topography

Yakushima is a circular and conical island, about 130km in circumference. Mt. Miyanoura-dake (1936m), the tallest mountain in southern Japan and over 40 other peaks over 1,000m make up the centre of the island, earning it the nickname "the Alps of the Ocean".The climate on Yakushima Island ranges from subtropical zones, warm temperate zones to cool-temperate zones in accordance with the altitude from coastline to mountaintop.
The climate on the coastline is temperate all through the year with no frost or snow and an average annual temperature of 19.1 o C.
The average annual rainfall is more than 4,000mm in the lowland areas.

Waterfalls & High Moors

Senpiro-no-taki Waterfall

Ohko-no-taki Waterfall

Hananoego High Moor


Banyan tree

Turtle on Inakahama Beach
Yakushima Island has a beautiful and varied coastline.

The sea is filled with coral reefs and tropical plants such as hibiscus, banana and papaya which can be found on the beach as well as in the dense copse of banyan trees.

Yakushima Island has the greatest number of landing turtles in Japan, and can be seen laying their eggs on the beautiful shore from the middle of May through the middle of August.


Wilson Trunk 

Yakushima Island is part of the Yakushima National Park. 1,300 plant species (including endemic ones) ranging from subtropical to coniferous species can be found here due to the largely varied climate, from subtropical along the coastline to cool temperate on high altitudes of about 2,000m.


Yakushima Rhododendrons 

 Great King Cedar

It also has natural forests of Yaku-sugi cedars, many of which, with their strong survival power, are thousands of years old. There are also unique plants such as the Yakushima rhododendron.

Yaku-sugi cedars found between 700m to 1,400m above sea level.

Cedars over 1,000 years old are known as Yaku-sugi cedars, and those younger are called "Ko-sugi" (tiny cedars).

Jomon-sugi cedar, which is the most famous cedar on Yakushima Island, has a circumference of 16.4m and height of 25.3m.

 Jomon Cedar


Yakushima Monkey
The Yakushima deer and the Yaku macaque(Short-tailed monkey) are the only large wild animals on the island. It is estimated that there are about 9,000 to 16,200 deer and 3,200 to 4,600 Yaku macaques.

The deer live in areas from low-mountain hills close to the coastline to the mountain peaks 2000m above sea level.

 Yaku Deer