Walk through one of Japan’s Top 100 Mountains on a World Heritage Site
There is a cluster of high mountains on Yakushima of over 1500m altitude which takes up the 1st to 8th spots on a list of Kyushu’s highest peaks so that the island has been referred to as being the Marine Alps. Mt. Miyanoura is situated in the center of the island, and at a height of 1936m, it is the tallest mountain in Kyushu and has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Mountains in the nation. Even among the many steep rocky mountains on Yakushima, there is a genuine climbing course with a lot of ups and downs on Mt. Miyanoura. Virtually the entire mountain is included within a World Heritage site and it is a famous peak which is popular among climbing fans. The route heading up to the top of Mt. Miyanoura from the Yodogawa Trailhead is a popular route which can be done within a day (round-trip distance of about 16km within a time of 10-11 hours). For visitors who are not accustomed to mountain climbing, a guide should be requested.
Heading to the peak through beautiful landscapes that constantly change
Going beyond the forest of Yakusugi cedar trees and through the clear waters of the Yodogawa River, Japan’s southernmost highland marsh is almost like an unspoiled scene of a Japanese garden interweaving the carpet of moss and flowing rainwater, the surface of snowmelt water and bleached and bony trees. Along the way you can also observe a variety of giant and fantastically-shaped rocks with names such as the Noumiso (Brain) Rock and the Yakushima Moai Rock. You may even encounter wild Yakushima deer. Furthermore once you get past the tree line, the landscape will change into the yakuzasa bamboo grass zone with rhododendrons blooming beautifully everywhere in early June as the way to Mt. Miyanoura comes into view. From the peak with a 360-degree panoramic view, you can see the steep Mt. Nagata to the west, the Miyanoura footpath to the north, Mt. Ishizuka to the east and Mt. Okina and Mt. Anbo to the south so that you can get the ultimate view of Yakushima. It is a view that is so grand that it’s hard to believe that you are on an island, and if the weather is good, you can even see Sata Cape and Mt. Kaimon on the main island of Kyushu as well as neighboring Kuchinoerabushima Island and Tanegashima Island. You take the same route to get back down the mountain.