Sunday, August 4, 2013

Yakushima, the UNESCO island of incredible beauty.

Jetfoil ticket
So today I woke up and said goodbyes to my host in Kagoshima and had to rush towards the ferry terminal to get my ticket which I was unable to purchase yesterday.
I had 40 minutes to get there and I walked very fast with a couple occasional run in between to the terminal.
I was sweating in the horribly hot morning sun but got there "in time". I was there 15-20 minutes before the ferry was going to leave but for my horror I saw that the line for the tickets was ridiculous and the ticket machine was out of order so I had to go to the line.

Long story short I didn't make it to that 8.30 ferry and ended up buying only the return ticket for tomorrows ferry. I was forced to got to the Jetfoil terminal for the speed boat towards Yakushima.
The ferry is the cheapest alternative, costing 7900 yen for the round-trip ticket. This ferry leaves once a day from both sides. 8.30 from Kagoshima, arriving at 12.30 in Yakushima, and 13.30 it departs from Yakushima towards Kagoshima.

The jetfoil operates more often and takes less time. I bought the one way ticket on the expensive jetfoil and had to wait for 3 hours at its terminal. I had time to read and eat before riding the jetfoil.

Once I had boarded the Jetfoil and arrived at Yakushima I had to go and walk to my Minshuku or a kind of a bed and breakfast style accommodation in Japan. I left my stuff there and asked if I had time to go and visit the famous Jomonsugi forest which takes the longest time to hike, but I did not apparently have time for it so they recommended visiting the almost equally amazing Shiratani Unsuikyo.
So I hopped on the buss that drove all the way up the mountain to that particular forest and was on my way.

It was incredibly beautiful out there, the old trees, the rivers, the path, everything. I had only a short time (in my opinion) there and suggest for any other traveler to stay in Yakushima at least 2 nights but if possible 3 nights.
This forest is known for its appearance in the animated movie of Hayao Miazaki called Mononoke hime.
There is a path that takes you to those particular moss floor woods with ancient trees.  I didn't have time for it since the last bus was to leave at 17.10. But it was still amazing non the less!
I walked and just gasped at the beauty.

Once I returned to the starting point I hopped on the bus and came back to my minshuku. I went and got myself some food at the supermarket for today and tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will have no blog nor video up since I will be in various transportations the whole time.

At 13.30 I will be in the boat until 17.30 from where I will go an take the train from Kagoshima Chuo terminal towards Yamagata. This stretch is 16 hours and I will be leaving at 18.18 and arriving at 10 a.m.

I wanted to do this so that I would get to experience the feeling of a night train.
Stupid... Maybe, but at least it will be an experience.

Cheers
Robert