Yakul dashing through a lush ancient forest with Ashitaka on his back. Kodamas watch surreptitiously from mossy rocks as Moro approaches, with San, the Princess Mononoke, riding tall and ready to protect her forest. These images came easily to mind as the writer’s ferry, Yaku 2, pulled into Port Miyanoura one misty morning. The writer had been dreaming of visiting Yakushima and walking in Yakul’s and Moro’s footsteps ever since the writer found out that Yakushima had been a key inspiration for Princess Mononoke, one of Studio Ghibli’s best and one that sends a strong message about environmental protection. So when the writer found a volunteering opportunity in Yakushima on Workaway, it was a no brainer that the writer sign up immediately.