Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yakushima - Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine

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.

After coming down from Taikowa Rock, I sat down near this famous old tree to eat my lunch. 

I was very surprised to hear a loud screeching and see a monkey running across a fallen tree!  I didn't have time to get out my camera before it was gone, but I was excited that I got to see it.  A few minutes later another monkey ran out and stopped on a branch, so I did get my camera out.  A small monkey followed the big monkey.  At one point the big monkey came running toward me and I dropped my bag and started to run away.  It went back to the small monkey, so I came back to my bag and lunch.  I watched the big monkey picking bugs or something off the small monkey and I took more pictures. When I go to the zoo, the monkeys are probably my least favorite animal, but to see wild monkeys in the forest was cool.

I was careful to get back to the bus stop by the time the last bus of the day left at 5:20 pm! What a great day in the woods!


  1. Beautiful fun and lots of exercise, great adventure,
    thanks for sharing your photos.

  2. What a great day and the monkey photos are really fun.

  3. Hi Pamela wow what a wonderful day,you got lots of amazing pics,thankyou for sharing xx

  4. A beautiful place to hike! Glad the monkeys haven't learnt extortion like some in India. There are places there where the monkeys specialise in stealing bags, cameras and glasses from people. (When you said one ran towards you and you dropped your bag and ran, I was expecting to read next that the monkey took your bag.) Then the people throw food to the monkeys to get back their possessions, which just reinforces the behaviour of course. Monkeys are smart!

  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. Such greenery! Wild monkeys are just so cool, aren't they. So exotic!

  6. Oh gee, what a wonderful place to hike. The pictures of what you saw are amazing. I can only imagine how breathtaking seeing them would be. Are the monkey's aggressive? I'd be kind of scared after seeing reports of what a Chimpanzee can do. As I was reading, I was thinking about what the parks tell you in the western USA...DON'T FEED THE BEARS! lol.

    Great post.
    xx, Carol

  7. Wow, Pamela, so beautiful photos! I love monkeys, my friend. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Gorgeous! Monkeys are not my fav either but anything in the wild is fascinating to behold. Thanks for taking us on your hike!

  9. What a great hike this must have been, Pamela. And those views - terrific! That big monkey who came running towards you was a really big one, oh my. I would have been scared. A real adventure.

  10. I think I would have panicked over the monkeys. I've never seen outside a zoo.

    It looks like you had a wonderful time. It looks so lush and green. And those trees? Old and beautiful.

    I don't know how you made it over that bridge....I'd have to take my glasses off to brave that!!!

  11. Wow, what a beautiful hike! And those monkeys would have given me a start for sure!!!

  12. What a beautiful hike, and how exciting to meet wild monkes - you're lucky they did not steal your lunch!