We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. The Japan list of contents so far can be found here!
By far the most amazing part of our Japan adventure was the magical island of Yakushima. We arrived in Yakushima by boat and we spent 4 days in Yakushima, driving around the entire island and exploring as much as we could during our time there.
* Sankara Hotel & Spa -
our home during our stay in Yakushima
* Explore Yakushima -
Exploring the local area near Sankara Hotel and the port - Yakushima Life: Botanical Research Park, Wakashio Sushi
* Hike Yakushima -
Hiking the Yakushima forest the area that served as the inspiration for Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke - Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine
* Drive Yakushima -
We spent a full day driving around the entire island of Yakushima stopping. Lots of Yakushika (Yakushima deer) and Yakuzaru (Yakushima Monkeys) were seen
The magic of Yakushima is near the center of the island, away from civilization, deep within the mountain forest.
Runny rivers and streams are everywhere due to the amount of rain that Yakushima gets. During our time there it was wet and misty but never a heavy downpour.
Crossing the bridge is where the landscape changes, from a normal forest to a lush landscape covered in green moss.
The roots of exposed trees wrap around the hiking trails, trails that were build 300-400 years ago.
We had expected to see monkeys and deers during our hike through the forest, but the residence of Yakushima Island had pushed them off to other parts of the islands to keep them away from the agricultural land. The only signs of life we saw in the mountains were those of birds in the trees.
Near the top of the mountain the landscape changes and the mist and fog get thicker. Going off the trail could mean never finding your way back. Trees are marked with bright tags to help guide you.
The rain, wind, and fog were much heavier when we broke through the forest and reached the top. While there was not much to see, it was a great achievement and well worth the hike.
The hike took us the majority of the day. By the time we got back to Sankara, we were exhausted and ready for dinner.
This picture courtesy of Sankara Hotel & Spa website
We ate at Okas again, this time sitting at the chefs table to watch the meals be prepared.