mountain huts

The mountain huts on Yakushima offer a safe and dry place to sleep.  Water is nearby most of the huts and a toilet is near to most of the huts.  Some of them are popular and others are rarely used.  They are free to use, but very basic.  Camping is also permitted 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, but the mice are amazing tight-rope walkers..

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 plan to arrive to the hut a few hours before sunset.

 

SShiratani 1hiratani Hut (白谷小屋)

This is one of the larger huts.  It accommodates about 30 people.  Although it’s 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.  The elevation is around 825m.

 

高塚小屋Takatsuka Hut (高塚小屋) 

The Takatsuka hut is just beyond Jomon Sugi and is a new and well-designed hut.  It can accommodate 20 people and the elevation is around 1,330m.  Although it is closer to Jomon Sugi than the Shintakatsuka Hut, many people resist the temptation to stay at the first hut they arrive at (the Takatsuka Hut) after the long trek to Jomon Sugi and head further up to the Shintakatsuka Hut for an earlier start to Miyanouradake the following day. 

 

Shintakatsu 1Shintakatsuka Hut (新高塚小屋)

The Shintakatsu Hut  can accommodate 40 people and the elevation is around 1,460m.

 

 

Yodogawa 1Yodogawa Hut (淀川小屋)

The Yodogawa Hut is only an hour or so from the Yodogawa mountain entry  point and some trekkers heading up the centre of the island towards Miyanouradake 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 about 40 people and the elevation is around 1,380m. 

 

Shikanosawa 1Shikanosawa Hut (鹿の沢小屋)

This is one of the lesser used huts as it sits on the trail beyond Nagatadake (永田岳 1,886m).  From Nagatadake 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 Miyanoruadake and Nagatadake, and then sleep at the Shikanosawa Hut.  It requires a 45 min descent from Nagatadake.  The Shikanosawa hut can accommodate 20 people at a squeeze and at 1,550m 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.

 

Ishizuka 1Ishizuka Hut (石塚小屋)

The second of the lesser used huts 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 around 1,600m.  It`s usually cold at night.  There is very little space to camp around this hut.