Where to stay, eat, and explore on the remote subtropical island off Japan’s southern coast.
The small, remote island of Yakushima, which lies off the southern coast of the southernmost of Japan’s four major islands, Kyushu, is shaped something like the Hawaiian isle of Kauai. And just as on that other circular bit of rock over 4,000 miles away across the North Pacific, visitors arrive here seeking respite in subtropical rain forests and mountains — and along the miles of untouched coastline, where endangered loggerhead and green turtles nest. But what’s startling about Yakushima is the absence of crowds and over-commercialization, even with its easy proximity to Osaka, an hour-and-a-half-long flight away. (There are also two ports on the island — in Miyanoura and Anbo — from where multiple daily ferry services connect to the town of Kagoshima on Kyushu.)
Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1993, Yakushima has managed to maintain its pristine, otherworldly atmosphere.