The mountain huts on Yakushima offer a safe and dry place to sleep. Water is nearby and a toilet is close. Some of them are popular and others are rarely used. They are free to use, but very basic. Camping is also allowed in the environs of the huts, but do not camp in places other than the mountain hut areas. This area has UNESCO status and as such the rules are strict when it comes to trekking and camping in the mountains. Camp fires are strictly forbidden, so bring camping stove equipment if you intend to stay overnight in the mountains. Camping gas and stoves can be purchased from many outlets around the island. Water is never a problem on Yakushima and the huts either have taps on hand or else they are very close to high altitude clean streams. With so much 'free' food around then rodents can sometimes pay a visit into the huts. Clean up all your garbage, wrap food in bags and seal your sack as best as you can. Hanging the food bags from the beams and rafters also helps.
During the peak season some huts are either full or close to being full, and so if you are a light sleeper then bring along some earplugs. There's always one snoring sleeper and the notorious plastic bag-rustler before sunrise! The bunks are wooden and so if you require a little more comfort then bring a roll-mat. Even in the summer months, the temperature in the mountains at night can become cold and a sleeping bag is essential.
There is no pre-booking for the mountain huts, so if you intend on staying the night in a hut then get there in good time.
This is one of the larger huts. It accommodates 60 people. Although it' only 1 hour from the Shiratani Unsuikyo entrance, it's not a popular hut as in the summer the indoor toilet causes some unpleasantness! There's a good area in front of the hut to relax and eat. This hut sits at 825m.
The Takatsu hut (image above) is just beyond Jomon Sugi and is a new and well-designed hut. It can accommodate 20 people and sits at around 1330m. Although it is closer to Jomon Sugi than the Shintakatsu Hut, many people resist the temptation to stay at the first hut they arrive at (the Takatsu Hut) after the long trek to Jomon Sugi and head further up to the Shintakatsu Hut for an earlier start to Miyanoura Dake the following day.
The Shintakatsu Hut can accommodate 40 people and is located at 1460m.
The Yodogawa Hut is only an hour or so from the Yodogawa Entry point and some trekkers heading up the centre of the island towards Miyanoura Dake will arrive there in the afternoon to get an early start the following morning. In the peak season, don't leave it until dusk to arrive at this hut unless you also carry a tent as it could be full. It accommodates 40 people and is situated around 1380m above sea-level.
This is one of the lesser used huts as it sits on the trail beyond Nagata Dake (永田岳 1886m). From Nagata Dake the trail heads down towards Nagata. Take extra precaution when using this trail during heavy rain. It is possible to set off from the Yodogawa entry in the morning, climb both Miyanorua Dake and Nagata Dake, and then sleep at the Shikanosawa Hut. It requires a 45min descent from Nagata Dake. The Shikanosawa hut can accommodate 20 people at a squeeze and at 1550m it can be cold at night. It's a very basic and dark hut, but if it's raining you'll be thankful for it in any shape or form.
The second of the lesser used huts up on the high groung is the Ishizuka Hut on the trail between Yakusugi Land and Hananoego (花之江河). This trail is not often traversed and so the hut is not often used. It can accommodate 20 people and is the highest of the huts at 1600m and therefore cold at night. There is nowhere to camp around this hut.