Yakushima: Princess Mononoke Forest Adventure

Open Dates
June 2024 - October 2024
3 nights, 4 days
JPY 550,000~ per person


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Forest Trek

Trek through ancient forests that inspired the film Princess Mononoke to reach a summit peak.

Overnight Forest Stay

Stay overnight inside the forest before trekking to see one of the oldest trees in the world.

Tree conservation

Learn about the ancient cedar preservation efforts conducted by local timbermen.


This experience explores the otherworldly island of Yakushima with an expert guide. Hike mountains with 1000 year-old cedar trees while learning how locals live in harmony with nature.

This trip includes an overnight trek in the forest, as well as unique cultural experiences to learn more about what it’s like to live in Yakushima.

What's included
  • Two nights of hotel accommodations
  • Tents (optional) for sleeping
  • All meals
  • Private transfers to and from the airport
  • Expert local guide who will take you to all the hidden spots

Yakushima, Kyushu

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yakushima is a sub-tropical mountainous island covered in ancient forests which are home to the oldest trees in Japan. Many of these trees are over 1000 years old and are called “yakusugi”, from the words “Yakushima” and “sugi”, meaning cedar.

Shiratani Unsuikyo, a forest gorge, inspired the forests of Studio Ghibli’s “Mononoke Hime”, Princess Mononoke. These mountain forests are prime trekking attractions, giving the feel of stepping back in time to another world.


Day 1: Arrival

You will be greeted on arrival by your guide and taken to a luxury spa, your accommodation for the first night. After settling in, visit a cedar processing center to learn how the ancient trees are protected and preserved. Take a short hike to a cedar sanctuary before returning to your hotel for dinner.

Day 2: Summit Hike

Depart before sunrise and arrive at the trailhead for an early breakfast. This day will be a long day of trekking as you rise through the forest up the summit of Mt. Miyanoura and its breaktaking views of the island. Dusk in the forest is a magic hour as the trees change color in the light. Sleeping in the forest overnight in a hut gives an awe-inspiring chance to view these trees towering overhead in pitch darkness.

Day 3: Ancient Forest

Awake early in the forest for a hike to Jomonsugi, thought to be the oldest living tree in Japan. Jomonsugi is crowded with day-packers by the early afternoon, but you can visit this majestic tree before anyone else arrives. For the rest of the day you will slowly make your way down the mountain through the forest reaching the trailhead by late afternoon. Return to your hotel for much-needed rest and dinner.

Day 4: Departure

Your guide will tailor your departure day activities based on your schedule and interest. There are a host of walks or secret spots to visit before you have to leave the island.

Note: For those who don’t want to stay overnight in the forest, alternative itineraries are available.


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Takuya is the founder of Tabira, a company that guides visitors through the forests of Yakushima. His philosophy is, "Don't be surprised when a dead tree blooms, but be surprised when a fresh tree blooms." In addition to guiding visitors through the forests, he runs Gallery Tabira, which organizes forest photo exhibitions and forest concerts, as well as events that connect people to the forest through summer schools for forestry professionals, photographers, architects, musicians, authors, and others.

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