Three-Day Yakushima Itinerary: A Nature Lover’s Dream

If you’re imagining a three-day impromptu getaway when you can enjoy the luxuries of an auberge-style hotel with in-house, world-class spa and sauna facilities, surrounded by the beauty of a pristine temperate rainforest, Sankara Hotel & Spa  located in Yakushima is the only hotel that can fulfill your fantasies. Yakushima, the largest of the Ōsumi Islands, is a refuge featuring lush foliage that is over 60 kilometers off the coast of Kyushu. In harmony with its surroundings, the hotel is nestled on a verdant hill at the southeast of the island, which is accessible by the Yakushima Airport, allowing for a simple and smooth journey. 

Arrival on Yakushima Island Embark on a Nature Exploration Adventure 

Upon arrival at Yakushima Airport, a complimentary service will transport you to the hotel. After you reach the Sankara Hotel at around 1pm, take advantage of the many activities on Yakushima offered by Sankara Hotel. However, for a more fast-paced trip, a selection of cross bikes, road bikes, e-bikes, and rental cars are available. 

Trekking and Hiking 

For those who enjoy experiencing the wonders of nature, Sankara Hotel offers trekking tours throughout Yakushima, its UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve, and its national park. Guests can book guided trekking tours through Sankara Hotel; however, they are subject to availability, and not always guaranteed. During the first day, a trail of more moderate intensity is recommended. The Shiratani Unsuikyo Moss Forest Course, characterized by its lush moss-green forest, is often referred to as Kokemusu-Mori (Moss-Covered Forest). It is also well known for its affiliation with Studio Ghibli’s film Mononoke Hime, known in English as Princess Mononoke

Nearby Yakusugi Land is framed with large cedar trees where, from an elevation of 1000 meters, a characteristic Yakushima forest unfolds and coniferous and broadleaf trees intermingle. You will eventually come across the Yamato Sugi, an ancient cedar, streaked with prominent ridges. The Buddha Sugi can also be seen, remarkable for its strange shape and named for the bumps around its trunk. After exploring Yakusugi Land, it is highly recommended to drive for another 20 minutes to see the ancient Kigen Sugi, which is about 3,000 years old. 

Enjoy Water Activities in Yakushima 

Sankara Hotel also provides water-based activities, including kayaking through the crystal clear open waters of Yakushima, along with snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and diving. The rocky shores are teeming with fascinating marine life. The warm water near deeper shores, namely Isso in the north, allows for the flourishing of coral reefs traversed by swift currents and frequented by sea turtles. This includes the endangered loggerhead—Yakushima is the largest nesting ground for this rare creature in the North Pacific. Stand-up paddleboarding is a refreshing activity during the warmer months, allowing for beautiful views of forest along the flowing azure of the Anbo River. 

For trekking tours and other activities, reservations for tour guides are required. However, Sankara Hotel will organize reservations for activities and tours for guests who are GoConnect Members. 

Experience a Full Day of Trekking in Yakushima 

Jōmon Sugi

After a restful night, you’ll be ready for a full-day trek. Japan’s oldest tree, Jōmon Sugi, is accessible from the Arakawa Trail, a round-trip hike of 10 hours. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest cedar tree in Yakushima—a true mainstay of the island. Standing over 25 meters high, it is estimated to be between 2,200 and 7,200 years old.

Shiratani Unsuikyo Taiko-iwa Course 

Exploring Shiratani Unsuikyo through the Taiko-Iwa course allows you to take in misty, moss-covered forests along a series of undulating ascents and descents with a peak height of 1050 meters. In total, the trek will cover around six kilometers, taking around six to seven hours total. It is possible to complete Jomon Sugi and Shiratani Unsuikyo in a single day, but it’s more suitable for those who are very fit.

Mt. Miyanoura-Dake

This trail is designed for experienced hikers as it involves a challenging mountain climb. It’s not just a forest walk. It’s an alpine adventure that takes you beyond the treeline. On clear days from the summit of Mt. Miyanoura—the highest peak in Kyushu—you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Kyushu mainland, the boundless ocean, and the lush mountains of Yakushima. Trekkers should be prepared for a serious climb of about 10 hours.

Pamper Yourself Before Takeoff

Before checking out, guests can recuperate at Sankara Hotel’s luxurious spa and sauna facilities. The spa offers a menu that features a wide variety of treatments for the mind and body. Also remember to visit Sankara Hotel and Spa’s gift shop to commemorate your experience!

Learn more about Sankara Hotel’s spa here

Also, be sure to visit Yakushima’s picturesque waterfalls including the Ohko Waterfall, which is recognized as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls and features an 88-meter spray. Also, plunging from a height of 60 meters, Senpiro Waterfall is just a 10-minute drive from Sankara Hotel. 

Reserve Your Stay in Yakushima

Reservation Phone Number: +81-800-800-6007
Booking: Click here
Address: 553 Haginoue, Mugio, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima 891-4402
For general information about Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima, visit

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