- Apr 2012
Yakushima – from the first impression a green island, with lots of tree, rainy clouds hanging in the mountain and many wildlife. We set over with the ferry from Kyushu island on April 25th and drove to the south side of Yakushima. The first day was a stormy day, other campers where hiding below trees or cancelled their stay.
One of the most famous spots to visit on Yakushima is Yakusugi Land. This is an easy to walk or hike area which is well prepared for all visitors with wooden blankets, bridges and lots or signboards. Other hiking trails are more natural but also well described and easy to find and walk.
My hiking tour started at Yodogawatozanguchi. I never hiked in such a forest before. Big trees, crystal clear water and amazing rock formations!
Pictures can only provide a slight impression of the beauty of nature. The center of the island is protected by huge rocks with flat surface. The rocks keep the wind and storm away and maybe that’s why here huge, old trees and grow and survive. Yakushima is considered the place with the oldest trees on the planet.
During hiking I understood, why this place is considered a holy place:
- All things have their roots
- Nature can protects each other’s nature. If something is destroyed, it just makes place for something new
- In an protected and healthy environment things can live in peace and harmony
- Dead trees provide a bases or hold for the next generations, other beings, other things
- Nothing is useless as long as its following its natural purpose and plant
Those enormous big trees and the “several generation trees”, where up to three generation grow one on another, show that life is not an isolated thing. Each is part of one big thing and changing its own condition and surface continuously, while providing a tiny but important piece to the big picture. Yakushima toughed my heart and for me became a special place.
The hike itself is not difficult. The beautiful scenery and wildlife keeps it interesting and plenty of water is available on the way. I stay in a mountain hut together with other hikers. In the evening, two deer came to the hut and inspected our hiking equipment and travel guide book. The night was fresh, but not too cold. Close to the hut there is Jomon-sugi cedar, which is considered to be the oldest tree on earth. They exact age is not known, estimations range from 7.000 to more then 10.000 years. In any case this tree looks impressive and has a special aura, same as other big old tree in this area.
Next day I continued the hike to the north and passed a big stump, Wilsons stump. It is possible to enter the giant stump, several person fit inside. With an perimeter of about 30 meters an impressive stump.
The trail continued smoothly and later follows an old railroad. The railroad was build to transport the enormous trees to the harbor. Looking at it today, it creates a sad feeling as those trees are to unique to be cut or damaged.
To protect the nature all hikers are advised to bring any trash out of the park. This even includes our own waste, means excrements. Therefore special bags are available which can be used on installed mobile toilets and later disposed in special containers at the park entrance. Please don’t forget to bring enough bags with you!
宮之浦岳 Miyanouradake 27.-28. Apr 2012
Start (27. Apr): 淀川登山口 Yodogawatozanguchi 8:00 am 1.360 m
Trail: 淀川小屋 Yodogawagoya 8:35 am 1.380 m
Trail: 花之江河 Hananoego (highland march) 9:45 am 1.600 m
Top: 黒味岳Kuromidake 10:20 am 1.831 m
Trail: 投石平 Nageishidaira 11:10 am 1.680 m
Top: 宮之浦岳 Miyanouradake 12:30 pm 1.936 m
Trail: 新高塚小屋 Shin-Takatsuka hut 2:20 pm 1.480 m
Trail: 高塚小屋 Takatsuka hut 3:10 pm 1.360 m
Trail: 縄文杉 Jomon-sugi cedar 3:20 pm 1.340 m
Finish (27.Apr): 高塚小屋 Takatsuka hut 3:40 pm 1.360 m
Duration: 7 h 40 min Distance: 12 km Height: 1.250 m
Start (28.Apr) 高塚小屋 Takatsuka hut 7:00 am 1.360 m
Trail: 縄文杉 Jomon-sugi cedar 7:10 am 1.340 m
Trail: ウィルソン株 Wilson´s stump (kabu) 8:00 am 1.060 m
Trail: 辻之岩 Tsuji-no-Iwa 10:30 am 1.100 m
Trail: 苔むす森 Taimusumori 11:20 am 980 m
Finish (28.Apr) 白谷云水峡 Shiratani Unsuikyou Ravine Parking 1:00 pm 730 m
Duration: 6 h Distance: 13 km Height: 400 m
Duration total: 13 h 40 min Distance: 25 km Height: 1.650 m