Photo: Adobe Stock
Fewer than 10% of Japan’s 6,852 islands are inhabited. But among those 400 or so, travelers are treated to a rich tapestry of natural treasures, deep-seated mysticism, thriving cultural assets and stretches of sprawling urbanity.
Source: Japan’s best islands to visit, from Okinawa to cat sanctuary Aoshima
Photo: Burcu Basar
Yakushima, located 135 kilometers off the coast of Kagoshima in southern Kyushu, is home to just 13,000 residents yet draws around 300,000 visitors every year. The island, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, is known for its misty, shrouded forest and is home to ancient cedar trees like Jomon Sugi—the largest and oldest tree in Japan, estimated to be between 2,000 and 7,000 years old.
Source: Yakushima: Exploring Japan’s World Heritage destination from a different perspective
Photo credit: Pixta
Southern Kyūshū’s various national parks feature active volcanoes and stunning mountains surrounded by picturesque coastal landscapes and countless islands.
Source: Southern Kyūshū’s National Parks: Sparkling Blue Seas and Green Mountains of Yakushima and Amami
“Natural” and “world heritage” aren’t words often used to describe cola.
Source: Cola made from the island that inspired Princess Mononoke begins crowdfunding
Photo: Barbra Austin
Fans of anime master Hayao Miyazaki may remember the mystical, moss-covered forest that serves as the setting for much of “Princess Mononoke”, his epic about humans and the environment.
Source: Explore the enchanting ancient forests of Yakushima, Japan’s eco-paradise
Photo: Google Japan
The island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to towering cedars that are thousands of years old. Google has captured views of the forest in winter.
Source: Street View hikes Endor-like Yakushima Island in Japan