My second day in Yakushima I planned to go hiking. There were only a few buses a day going to and from Shiratani, so I had to be careful about the time. I was able to catch the bus around 8:30 am. The cost was 550 yen each way and it took about 30 minutes.
I had read about this area before the trip and was pretty excited about it. The Shriatani Unsuikyo Ravine is a nature park situated at a height of 600 to 1200 meters and full of the ancient yakusugi (cedar) trees.
I had also read about the wild deer and monkeys on the island, but I didn't expect to see them. As the bus was driving up the mountain, I was watching out the window and I saw some monkeys on the side of the road!
It was a narrow road that I wouldn't like to be driving on, but there were some nice views. It started raining about half way to the trail, which I expected.
There is a 500 yen fee to enter the park which has several marked trails. I saw some families with children at the beginning, which was the flatter part, but fewer people after that. The entrance to the park is 600 meters (almost 2000 feet) and the highest point I hiked during the day was Taikoiwa Rock at 1050 meters (about 3400 feet), but there was a lot of up and down.
|I walked the green trail out and turned left on the orange trail on the way back.|