Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yakushima Island

Yakushima is a subtropical island off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is covered by an extensive cedar forest that contains some of Japan's oldest living trees. Trees more than 1000 years old are affectionately called yakusugi (a combination of Yakushima and the Japanese word for cedar, sugi), the most ancient of which may be over 7000 years old.

The island's cedar forests were logged extensively throughout history. Their most common use was to make cedar shingles during the Edo Period. Today the forests are a national park and some areas were declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1993.

Yakushima has become a destination for people who love nature and the outdoors, with lots of hiking, camping and nature watching all around the island. However there are many hotels and restaurants along the island's well developed coast, so you can rough it during the day yet spend your nights in comfort.

source: japan-guide.com


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