Yakushima's giant cedar trees

Yakushima's giant cedar trees

The land before time: Yakushima Island is home to cedar trees over 7,000 years old.

The dense, thousand year old rainforests of Yakushima Island are home to a huge number of cedar trees including the oldest trees in Japan. Known as yakusugi (the yaku from Yakushima and sugi meaning cedar) some of the cedars are thought to be 7,000 years old. 

Several of the ancient trees have their own affectionate names including the oldest tree, Jomonsugi, which dates back to the Jomon Period (13000 BC to 300 BC). Meotosugi is a pair of trees said to resemble a couple embracing, while Daiosugi is one of the largest trees on the island.  

The cedar forests of Yakushima provided the inspiration for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli animated film Princess Mononoke, a must-see before travelling to the island.  

Footpaths and hiking trails lead to the cedar trees; some paths are quite gentle while other trails take 10 or more hours and are best for experienced hikers only. InsideJapan can arrange guided hikes with a local expert.

Yakushima's giant cedar trees

located in Yakushima

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    Discover the vibrant cities and impressive landscapes of Kyushu on this superior journey from Unzen's hot springs to the forests of Yakushima.

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