Simple food at Kagoshima Airport while waiting for our transfer flight to Tokyo. The good are alright.
Our accommodation in Yakushima, about 10m walk away from Anno town center. The house is quite nice, next to a river and surrounded by trees. It is a big and comfortable house.
My only qualm is shared bathroom and lack of self-service warm water in the morning. If you are out early morning and needed warm water, better to notify the owner the night before.
Personally, the Shiratani trail is more beautiful than the Jomon Sugi trail. If you have time, do both. Else, Shiratani is an easier and nicer trail, with many big cedar trees as well.
Good thing about Yakushima trail is that you don't need good weather as most of the trail are within the forest with little opportunity to view the landscape of nearby mountains (except Toikawa Rock). If fact, the moss gets more vibrant after a rain.
We did the Bugyosugi Cedar Course plus Toikawa Rock loop, which should take 4 hours, but we spend the entire day in Shiratani (from 8am) and left on the last bus at 4.10pm.
This restaurant offer great value for money, only 1000-1200 yen per person with loads of good quality food. The flying fish is definitely worth trying.
The gyoza is pretty unique with crispy skin, and good fried chicken. I didn't enjoy the deer meat.
Hiking start from Arakawa trail entrance and would take 8-10h for a round-trip to see the big cedar tree - Jomon Sugi. The first 2 hours and last 2 hours are just flat old rail tracks, so it gets boring very soon.
One of the highlight is Wilson's Stump, which is a gigantic hollow cedar tree stump with a little shrine in it. If feels quite magical, something like a hobit's house, but unfurnished.
There are many big cedar trees along the way, quite a few are named. At the end you could see the grand Jomon Sugi cedar tree. Not actually the tallest, but the biggest (taking account the diameter and width). It quite magnificent even though we have a view it from an observation deck 10-20m away. Push 10 minutes further from Jumon Sugi and you can visit a mountain hut.
There only one early bus to reach Yakusugi Museum / Shizenkan by 5.29am. The is a required 1000 yen donation plus 690 yen one-way ticket to Arakawa trail head. The next bus depart by 5.40am and takes 30 minutes.
We manage complete trekking and board the 4:00pm bus from Arakawa to Yakusugi Museum / Shizenkan. We took the 4.45pm bus back to Anbo. Be aware bus schedule are different depending on season, so check the website http://yakukan.jp
Many mountains in Kirishima are off limits due to the active volcano status. Lake Onami and Mount Karukuni are one of the available options, taking about 4 hours for a round-trip. The trail is quite nice, starting with a lake loop, up the forest trail and reach the barren peak.
Sadly weather isn't great and misty along the way, where the peak is cold and windy and we didn't get any view. Parking at the Onami Lake entrance is fairly limited, many cars park along the roadside on weekends.