Rather than rush to see this big old tree on a day-return hike, the Jomon sugi overnight tour allows you plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings and you`ll have the pleasure of seeing the tree when it`s quiet and the day-return hikers have gone.
Jomon sugi is famed as Japan's oldest tree and it also ranks as one of the oldest trees in the world. However, estimates range from 2200 – 7200 years old which leads to all kinds of speculation over its actual age.
Jomon sugi was 're-discovered' in 1966 by a local civil servant. It's discovery, along with other factors at the time, helped bring about the cessation of the logging industry in the Arakawa area of the island in 1970.
The tour begins from Shiratani Unsuikyo and the early part of the hike through this forest is a wonderful introduction with lots of photo opportunities. The route steadily ascends to about 1,000 meters and then drops down into the next valley to join the Arakawa Trail and the railway track.
There are some interesting historical features along the old railway line that was built almost 100 years ago to transport lumber down to Anbo. The line is still in use and occasionally a train passes by.
Although there are certainly things to see along the 8km railway line, it's not until leaving the railtrack and entering the forest that this hike comes into its element. Within 30 minutes there is the recently fallen Okina sugi (a 2000 year old cryptomeria that fell in 2010) and nearby is Wilson's Stump. This enormous stump is the remains of a tree probably cut down in the 1580's under the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After more than 400 years of very wet conditions the stump still remains and it is so large that walking around inside the stump is one of the highlights of this tour.
Approaching Jomon sugi there are a few gigantic trees along the way: Diao sugi being the most impressive. Gone are the days when you could hug Jomon sugi and so instead observers have to be content with viewing it from a platform about 15m from the tree. There will be plenty of time to soak in the view of Jomon sugi as the Takatsu hut is only a 10 minute walk away from the tree.
At the end of the first day we shall set-up camp at the Takatsu Hut. This hut was refurbished recently and is perhaps the best of all the mountain huts on the island. The guide will prepare a well-deserved evening meal. You may wish to visit Jomon sugi again for sunset.
The next morning there is another chance to see Jomon sugi in a tranquil setting, before returning along the same route towards Shiratani Unsuikyo. Going back in the opposite direction often gives you an opportunity to see the things you missed the previous day. Before ascending back up towards Shiratani Unsuikyo there will be a chance to visit the abandoned logging village of Kosugidani – a village that was abandoned in 1972 almost as soon as the logging industry had stopped. All that remains of this village are foundation walls, but the guest can easily imagine how the village may have appeared.
Other side trips include the short climb to Taiko Iwa where you can enjoy the view looking out over to the central mountains.
There are plenty of places to re-fill the water containers on this trail.
Please be sure to read the Yakushima Hiking Equipment Check List. for the 2 day / 1 night trek. At 1300 meters even the summer nights can be cold, so make sure you are well-prepared for this hike. Good rain wear is essentail as if you get wet on the first day then it will make for a very uncomfortable night in the hut.
Level: 3/5 | Distance: 8km a day ｜ Duration: 7 hours a day ｜Altitude: 600～1300m
Guide rate per person
2 people: 40,000円 each | 3 people: 30,000円 each | 4 people＋: 25,000円 each
included in the price: 1st day lunch bento / evening meal / 2nd day breakfast & lunch / insurance / transportation
not included in the price: equipment rental
In the event of heavy rain then we may be forced to change the entry or / and exit of this tour and use the Arakawa Trail entry point. This alternative route will mean that there will be an extra expense of 870 yen one way (1,740 yen return) if the obligatory bus is used.
A cancellation charge will be waivered only if adverse weather prevents the guest from arriving to Yakushima, or adverse weather forces us to cancel the tour. Under all other circumstances if a the guest cancels a tour then cancellation charges apply.
|7 days in advance||Free|
|6ー4 days in advance||30％|
|3 – 2 days in advance||50％|
|1 day or on the day||100％|