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  • Mysterious moss forest
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  • Mount Miyanoura, Kyushu’s highest peak
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  • Climber enjoying Moss forest
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  • Hiryuotoshi waterfall
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  • Moss Dragon?
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Yakushima Recreation Forest (Shiratani Area)


Elevation  point: 600m / Mainly 600–800m / Highest point: 1,050m

Come face-to-face with the history of an ancient forest
as embodied by the Yakusugi cedars at this World Natural Heritage Site

Come face-to-face with the history of an ancient forest as embodied by the Yakusugi cedars at this World Natural Heritage Site

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Flower-viewing Waterfall viewing Birdwatching Guided tours (including areas outside the forest)
Geographical/topographical features
Located in the island's northeast, at an elevation of 600–1,050 m. The forest is home to waterfalls of all sizes and gorges formed by huge granite rocks.
Historical/cultural features
Visitors can see the remains of trial felling and the huge stumps of Yakusugi cedars felled to produce the flat timber (used as roofing material for wooden buildings) paid as a land tax in feudal times. In addition, there is the Kusugawa Hiking Course, which was originally developed for transporting timber out of the forest, and the remains of a lime field, which was used for growing the yamaguruma (Trochodendron aralioides) that was the basic ingredient in birdlime (a sticky substance used to trap birds and insects). Thus, this area provides an insight into the history of Yakushima's now-vanished industries.
Climate, flora and fauna
Rainfall here is so plentiful that people say, “35 days’ worth of rain falls in a month.” Visitors can enjoy the splendid sight of the lichens and bryophytes that cover the earth's surface below the natural laurel forest, which includes Yakusugi cedars.
Visitors can choose from three walking trails: the Taiko-iwa Rock Trail (partly following the Kusugawa Hiking Course; about 4 hours), which is the most popular; the Yayoi-sugi Trail (about 1 hour); and the Bugyo-sugi Trail (about 3 hours). Soon after entering the forest, visitors are greeted by the huge granite rock called Ikoi-no-Oiwa. If you keep the crystal-clear streams on your left and continue further onward, your eye will be caught by a huge cascade of water, called Hiryu Otoshi Falls. Various beautiful mosses cover the forest's rocks and the stumps of Yakusugi cedars felled during the Edo period, giving you the sense of being in a garden designed by Mother Nature herself. From Tsuji-toge Pass, climb a little further up to Taiko-iwa Rock to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Miyanoura, Kyushu's highest peak, and central Yakushima's Oku-dake Mountains.
Due to elevation differences, each trail has hilly up-and-down sections.
It is dangerous to attempt the walk in fashion shoes such as sandals or pumps. We recommend that you wear sports shoes or hiking boots when you visit.
Please watch out for yamahiru, Japanese mountain leech (Haemadipsa zeylanica japonica).
Caution is required because heavy rain can raise water levels in streams, making them impossible to cross.
Latest Information
Yamahiru, Japanese mountain leech (Haemadipsa zeylanica japonica) are present in this area throughout the year. Particular care is required in summer.
Visitors must watch their footing on the hilly up-and-down sections of each trail.
It is dangerous to attempt the walk in fashion shoes such as sandals or pumps. Wear sports shoes or hiking boots.
Near mountain streams, there is a risk of rising water levels due to heavy rain. Avoid crossing streams unless absolutely necessary.
The weather on Yakushima is highly changeable, due to the island's topography and other factors. Visitors must therefore make the necessary allowances in their plans, including preparing wet-weather gear and allowing for changes of schedule.
Usage Guide
¥500 (those who visit Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine after visiting Yakusugi Land can use the ¥200 discount ticket that they received at Yakusugi Land)
Between 08:30 and 16:30, this donation is collected at the administration building. Outside these hours, please place your donation in the collection box provided for this purpose.
Opening seasons and hours
Open 365 days a year May close if a severe weather warning is issued.
Accommodation options
There are accommodation facilities in various parts of Yakushima.
Toilets and drinking fountains Walking trail Parking lot Observation platform Visitor center (staffed only)
(Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine) Miyanoura, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima Prefecture
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • Bus
  • Miyanoura Port → Miyanoura / Oharamachi → Shiratani Unsuikyo (35 minutes)
  • Anbo → Gochomae / Airport → Oharamachi (35 minutes) Change buses Oharamachi → Shiratani Unsuikyo
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • By air
  • Kagoshima Airport → Yakushima Airport 30 minutes
  • Fukuoka Airport → Yakushima Airport 1 hour
  • Itami Airport (Osaka) → Yakushima Airport 1 hour 30 minutes
  • High-speed ferry
  • (Kagoshima Port → Miyanoura Port / Anbo Port) 2-3 hours (varies according to the route)
  • Ferry
  • (Kagoshima Port → Miyanoura Port) 4 hours
  • Anbo Port → Anbo bus stop: 15 minutes on foot
  • Anbo bus stop → Gochomae → Oharamachi: 35 minutes by bus
  • Airport → Oharamachi: 20 minutes by bus
By car
  • Miyanoura → Pref. Route 77 → Pref. Route 594 → Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine (12 km / 25 minutes)
  • Anbo → Pref. Route 77 → Pref. Route 594 → Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine (28 km / 43 minutes)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Space for 50 vehicles (free)

Nearby tourist facilities
  • 25 minutes by car from Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Center to Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine
Management office contact details
Yakushima Forest Ecosystem Conservation Center
Yakushima District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Center [External link]
Yakusugi Museum [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Yakushima Tourism Association [External link]
Yakushima Municipal Office [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Yakushima Recreation Forest Protection and Management Committee
URL [External link]:
Asahi Breweries, Ltd. [External link]

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