Jomonsugi
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Hamham730
Scottsdale, AZ296 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Solo
Found my love here in Yakushima. I fell in love with Yakushima's nature. Yakushima is known as a vortex (aka. power spot) and I felt strong healing power during my hike to Jomon Sugi Cedar.

Jomon Sugi hike is about 22km round trip. Of those most of the way (8km one way) is easy tram way. Since I didn't know what to expect, I hired a private guide for my hike, and I am so glad I did. I was promptly picked up at 4:20am from my hotel. Hotel to a parking area to the bus station is about 30 mins drive. No private cars permitted beyond that point, only way to go to the trail is by bus. First bus departs 4:55am and bus can accommodate up to 55 passengers. We took the second bus (5:25am) and arrived at the trail around 5:55am. Clean restroom is available (long queue for women of course), we started hiking around 6:15am.

I was informed average hike takes 11 hours. We finished in 8 hours including a long lunch break. Since most of the way is a tram way, it was pretty easy. Even steep part of the trail (total of 6km) wasn't bad at all. They have nice walk way and steps, I really didn't need my heavy hiking boots. Distance may seem long, although many web sites warns that this hike is not for everyone, I thought most anyone can do it, they just have to go slow. I prepared myself with the Humphrey's peak hike in Arizona (highest point in AZ) three weeks prior to the visit. Compared to that hike since I didn't have the altitude to think about in Yakushima, this was so much easier.

Hike itself was amazing. My guide was so knowledgeable, I learned so much about Yakushima's nature. Yakusugi (Yakushima Cedar) is so resilient. Despite of hardship (by human and weather), they eventually learned the way to survive strong. I was fascinated by their resiliency, made me realize the nature will eventually find on its way to survive. Third generation cedar, couple's cedar, they are relying on each other for sustainability.
The bedrock of the island is granite, and as such it hosts no active volcanoes. Yakusugi Cedar found a way to strive on hard rocks. Witnessing their strength throughout the hike was the most amazing part.

Weather was perfect on the days I spent on the island. Typhoon came and left prior to my arrival. Rained until the day before my arrival. Sunny during my stay, and started raining the day after I left. It is said that it rains 35 days out of each month, which just shows how much it rains here. The forests of Yakushima inspired the forest setting in Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. If you've seen a film, you get some image about how dense the green is here.

Water is super soft. I was informed to bring just one bottle of water, the rest I can refill with river water. They do have several water stations, which they get directly from river. The best water I've ever tasted. In fact, I filled up my Hydrapak water bottle to take back to my hotel towards the end of my hike.

Since we finished our hike too early, and had a little over an hour until the first bus out of the trail, we spent some time by the river. My guide carried backpacking stove, he made a cup of coffee with his own coffee beans he roasted at home. He even packed a grinder and Ceramic Dripper. I enjoyed a cup of coffee while soaking my feet in cold river water. I laid down on one of the big boulder, feeling ice cold water on my feet, warm sun on my face with occasional breeze, I was totally unplugged from the daily life, I felt the true meaning of pura vida. Tranquility I felt is beyond I can describe in words. No wonder why they earned a title of UNESCO World Hesitate site.

Energy from Yakushima's nature healed my heart, my mind and my body. So there, what's not to love here?
Written 5 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew1234
Doylestown, PA574 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Friends
Jomon Sugi is a worthwhile destination. The tree is very wide and old-looking, and the mood of the fellow hikers is positive and enthusiastic.

The trail to Jomon Sugi consists of two distinct parts: first, an easy, mostly-flat walk atop an old railbed; and second, an arduous, high-stepping scramble over tree roots and boulders and up seemingly endless flights of stairs. Our visit coincided with a major rainstorm, which added to the challenge of the climb. Weather aside, however, the trail deserves to be better maintained because it attracts so many people.

Bring wet weather gear and a head lamp, and pack sufficient amounts of food for a full-day (nine or ten hours) hike. Have a set of dry clothes for afterwards. Be sure-footed and in reasonably good shape. The hike is not technically difficult, but it is arduous. Think twice if you are afraid of heights. I would not recommend this hike for pre-teens.
Written 24 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yoshie S
Enfield, UK72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
We were very lucky with the weather. It was a warm cloudy-sunny day in November with some fog defending as we approached Jomon-sugi. It added an effect to make it look even more majestic. For the middle age couple who were far from fit, 10 hours' walk was really tough but it was worth it. The forest and the mountain were beautiful. We wished we had started half an hour earlier, so that we could stayed around Jomon-sugi a little longer. We had the disposable toilet bags with us just in case but did not use them as 2 toilets were sufficient for us. We went without a guide this time and will be nice to have a guided tour next time. The paths and the forest are beautiful.

We overlooked the fact 6:00am bus service to the entrance stopped at the end of Oct. so we missed the last morning bus when tried first time (we went to Harutahama beach to see the sunrise and the tide coming up with the bento breakfast on the rock for a very good consolation). At the 2nd time, we ordered the bento boxes to pick up on the way from Asahi-do and got on the 5:40 (5:20 was full). We were back on the 16:30 bus. We recommend to take the front seat on the return bus if pos. it is a quite thrilling descending ride to view the valleys from the edge of the narrow road (wow! to the bus drivers) and you get to see Yaku-monkeys and deers ahead.
Written 18 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JHL
Seoul, South Korea9,339 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018
Jomonsugi is the oldest tree in Japan and one of the most popular spots in Yakushima. While reaching this takes a long time, it's only viewable from the distance. It was just good to stare at.
- This is at the end of Arakawa Trail which is a long way from the ticket office and 8 hours to come and go.
- There are other big and old amazing trees you can see during the trail.
- This is the oldest tree in Japan. But, not the biggest.
- There's an observation deck before Jomonsugi. But, it's a bit away and people have to look up. And it was really crowded with many people.
Written 19 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah H
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2017 • Couples
This hike was absolutely lovely. While not overly strenuous it is quite a long trail. You'll need to purchase your bus tickets a day in advance, and wake up very early to get on the trail. We met some very nice people as we traveled along, saw beautiful rivers, waterfalls, moss-covered forests... so breathtaking. A large portion of the trail is along some rail road tracks. They still use the track for a very small train, so listen out for the workers. They'll blow a little whistle as they approach so just move to the side. After the railway there are some steep stairs and some scrambling over rocks. Once you make it to Wilson Stump the trail goes to mostly planks and stairs but there's still a bit to go before the end.The Jomonsugi is truly magical, well worth the hike. We're moderately skilled hikers and cleared this hike in about 8 hours, taking time for some snacks and photo-ops along the way.
Written 7 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

spaniel12
Svalbard, Norway477 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Solo
I was there with a private guide. We started trekking at 4.30am when it still dark. The only light was from the headlight. Only two of us kept continuous stepping on the old railway while it lightly snowed. I felt like doing walking meditation through the dark forest with sound of water falls, streams around.
We stopped a few minutes to listen to the serenity in the dark. That was awesome.

Trekking up higher and deeper in the forest, we saw some yamakushi monkeys and cute deers enjoying their breakfast.

There are lots of ferns and pine trees along the way to enjoy.

Jomonsugi is elegant and majestic. It is worth trekking 10km nonstop to see such a precious tree who has been there for more than 2000 years.

I got inside Wilson Stump which was very big. 100 people could fill inside. It reminds me how minimal we humans are as compare to nature.

Having lunch in the snow at -10C was a great moment. I am blessed being there.

I strongly recommend this place for trekking lover, especially in winter as there are very few people. Trekking with a local guide is recommended.
Written 29 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy T
Nagano, Japan31 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Couples
English is below.

思ってたより大変なトレッキングでした。最初の半分ぐらいは線路の上を歩き、足元に十分注意が必要です。雨の日はもっと大変だろうと思います。最後の半分は道がもっと険しくなり、滑りやすく急坂のところが多くなります。
人が多くないと思ったときに行ったはずだったのに、多かったです。美しい景色を眺める時間が短くて、前に進むプレッシャーを強く感じました。
ようやく縄文杉に着いたら、人が多くて煩くて、「早く写真を撮って、どいて」という感じでした。縄文杉や森の素晴らしい景色が人混みややかましさに壊されたと思いました。

The trek was more challenging than I thought. The first half is walking on old railroad tracks, so you need to watch your step, especially if the ground is wet. Even though it didn't rain most of the day when I went, it was slippery and I saw a few people slip and fall.
The second half of the trail becomes steeper and more difficult, and you need to be careful.
There are a lot of people, even during the "not so busy" season. Everyone wants to reach the goal and go home, so there is little time to stop and look around. There is a lot of pressure to keep moving forward.

When we finally reach Joumon Sugi, there were many people and it was very loud. There was no time to enjoy the scene. It felt like we had to take pictures quickly and leave.

I think if there was fewer people or if it were quieter, it would have been better.
Written 9 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie C
Gateshead, UK260 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Friends
The hike to Jomon sugi is not technically difficult but it is very long (about 22km / 10 hours round trip). The first three-quarters is along a railway track and very easy, the final section involves some scrambling over rocks but is mostly steps and boardwalk. It is worth it though to see the huge, old and beautiful cedars along the way culminating in Jomon sugi which really took our breath away. There were several groups hiking the trail on the day we went but everyone was friendly and moved aside for anyone walking faster. Because of the number of visitors the trail is well developed with two sets of (basic) toilets and water refill stations. Make sure to check the times for buses to the trail head, the last one up leaves from the Yakusugi Museum at around 6am and the final return one is at about 6pm - cars are not allowed on the final stretch of road. The buses are expensive - ¥870 each way.
Written 4 June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pengapa
183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2016 • Couples
Having read what it is like to walk to Jomonsugi using the most common route, we decided to take a harder route - to walk to Jomonsugi from Shiratani Unsuikyo. The distance wise, both walks are about 22 km but the Shiratani-Jomonsugi walk involves a lot of walk in the forest which makes the walk more interesting but also harder. In our case, we even took two detours in Shirtani Unsuikyo so it was extra long and hard. Altogether it took us 11 hours. This is definitely not a popular route, and we didn't see anyone until we hit the other popular route. But having the forest to ourselves was definitely special. This walk is not for everyone. The lady at the tourist information centre was discouraging and told us that this walk is for experienced walkers or 'university students' (we certainly don't belong to the latter category) and also advised us that it is a risky walk because streams in Shiratani Unsuikyo could become flooded and impassable - it means that you get stuck in the forest. We took a sleeping bag and extra food as a precaution (you don't need to carry a lot of water as you can collect water from streams). Jomonsugi itself didn't do too much to me after seeing so many beautiful trees on the way (especially for the last 1.5 kilometers) but it was still worth visiting for a sense of fulfillment.
Written 2 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mat_mak
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan6,042 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
Jomon cedar is the most popular tourist destination in Yakushima. It is called the king of Yakusugi cedar because of its huge figure. Height is about 30 meters, and around the stem is about 43 meters. It has been known as the biggest cedar in Yakushima. Jomon cedar has been estimated age is a 7400 years. Now to prevent the climbers hurt the roots of the tree, you look at the Jomon cedar from the observation deck.
Written 8 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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