Jomon Sugi Tour

Jomon sugi is famed as Japan’s oldest tree and it also ranks as one of the oldest trees in the world.  Estimates of its age range from 2200 – 7200 years old which leads to all kinds of speculation over its actual age. The YES guide will be able to give a better understanding of the age of the tree during the tour.

Jomon sugi was ‘re-discovered’ in 1966 by a local civil servant.  It’s re-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 Arakawa area is where a lot of the walking takes place during this tour.

Although not technically challenging, the hike to Jomon sugi is a long day starting early in the morning.  10 hours is about the average hiking time and so guests should be in good physical fitness and health.  Between March 1st to November 30th, private vehicles are not allowed up to the Arakawa Trail entry point and so hikers must take the obligatory bus early in the morning and return on the bus in the afternoon.

The early part of the hike has some interesting historical points while walking along the old railway line.  This line was built 100 years ago to transport lumber down to Anbo.  The line is still in use and occasionally a train passes by.  The railway line passes the abandoned logging village of Kosugidani.  Very little remains of this village that was abandoned in 1972 almost as soon as the logging industry ceased in the region.

 

Jomon Sugi

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Although there are certainly things to see along the 8km railway line, it’s not until leaving the rail track and entering the forest that this hike comes into its element.  Within 30 minutes there is the remains of a fallen sugi – Okina sugi.  This sugi was around 2000 years when it finally fell in 2010.  Soon after Okina sugi is Wilson Stump.  This enormous stump is the remains of a tree probably cut down in the 1580’s under the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  After withstanding more than 400 years of very wet conditions the stump still remains.  Wilson Stump 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.  Years ago hikers could walk around Jomon sugi, but this was stopped in the mid-1990`s.  Visitors have to be content with viewing it from platforms built about 15m from the tree.  In the winter you can be alone on these platforms, but do not expect to be alone between March – December.  In May, August and October, the platforms can become quite crowded as a few hundred other hikers arrive roughly the same time to pay their respect to Jomon sugi.

In the busy summer months, expect to wait up to 30 minutes to go to the washroom.

Level 4/5  |  Distance: 22km | Time 10 – 11 hours | Altitude 600 ~ 1300m

Guide Rate (per person)

1person: 44,000円

2  people: 22,500円

3 people: 18,000円

4 or more: 16,000円

Included in the guide rate: lunch bento | transportation to / from hotel

Excluded in the guide rate: breakfast bento | bus fare to / from Arakawa Mountain entry (1,400 yen per person + YES guide`s bus fare)  | environment maintenance fee (1,000 yen per person)

BOOK THIS TOUR and/or ask YES for more details.

Please check the YES hiking gear recommendations.  If you do not have the correct gear and don`t wish to carry heavy hiking boots on an international flight then YES can arrange hiking gear rental on Yakushima.

Cancellation Policy

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.

Cancellation Charges

7 days in advance Free
64 days in advance 30
3 – 2 days in advance 50
1 day or on the day 100