(宮之浦岳) Mt. Miyanoura Hike

At the island where locals say it rains forty days a month, finding the perfect timing is utterly critical... and impossible. Mt. Miyanoura is the highest point in Kyushu, and probably one of the most impressive rainforests in Japan. 

Budget: JPY46,080 (~USD385) from Tokyo
  • Transportation
    • JPY2,600. Train, Tokyo <> Narita (JPY1300ish one way)
    • JPY9,500. Flight, Tokyo-Narita to Kagoshima with baggage (Jetstar)
    • JPY10,500. Flight, Kagoshima to Yakushima (JAL, can be JPY7,900 if booked early enough)
    • JPY3,900. Ferry, Miyanoura Port to Kagoshima Port.
    • JPY380. Bus, Kagoshima Port to Kagoshima-chuo Station. 
    • JPY1,300. Bus, Kagoshima-chuo Station to Kagoshima Airport.
    • JPY5,200. Share in car rental and gas for 2 days (JPY12,165 for car rental, JPY3,500ish for gas, shared with 3 people) 
  • Accommodations
    • JPY3,100. Hostel near Kagoshima Station, 2d/1n.
    • JPY8,600. Hostel near Miyanoura port, 4d/3n. 
  • JPY1,000. Donation at Miyanoura Hike. 
  • +JPY15,000ish? Food. We ate like there's no tomorrow. Haha. 
Hike Date / Difficulty (Elevation: 1,936m / 6,352ft)
  • May 27, 2022
  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5 
  • Dayhike route via Yodogawa Trailhead (backtrail) is around 13.8 kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲1,282m/ ▽1,282m (9h10m)
  • Map Link

When to Go
Based on this blog, it gets a lot of snow in winter and is therefore not advisable to hike outside of the late March-late November window.

Sample winter hike.

Special Notes
  • Weather check : Japanese / English
  • My hiking experience notes:
    • A lot of people go via tours - which I'm surprised with. It's very straightforward and no technical sections. As long as you can get yourself to Yakushima, you're good. 
    • Dayhike is only possible from Yodogawa trailhead (unless you're a trailrunner or something). 
    • There are streams all over, with some trails actually having flowing water. This puts a high risk of being soaked even with rain gear (something to be carefully considered if doing an overnight hike). 
    • There are four rope sections coming from Yodogawa trail to the summit. Nothing too technical.
    • Deer and monkeys all over, so don't be scared if you hear a scream. It's likely just them.
    • The hike is not steep (relative to other mountains with 1,000m+ elevation gain).    
  • Trailheads. All accessible via the bus system of Yakushima. Updated bus schedule and fares here.
    • Note: There are two companies running buses, which is why there are 2 pdfs you'll see. The first one has more stops though, and has a bus pass of JPY2,000 yen for a day, and JPY3,000 yen for 3 days. Buses only run from March 1 to November 30, though winter hike blogs I see say they took a taxi.
      • Bus stop 29. Shiratani (白谷雲水峡登山口).
      • Bus stop 1: Nagata (永田歩道登山口).
      • Bus stop 72. Kigen-sugi (紀元杉), also known as Yodogawa (淀川).
        • This trailhead is quite popular, and for those driving, will have about ten parking spots. 
      • Bus stop 70. Arakawa (荒川登山口).
  • Access to Yakushima. 
    • Kagoshima Port to Yakushima - Minoura Port and Anbo Port.
      • Different companies, prices and time, summarized in table below. Company websites are as follows: Jet Foil (reservations possible), Ferry Yakushima2, and Hibiscus. The latter two are ferries and no reservations are taken in advance out of peak seasons (I tried, they said no). The jet foil is a lot smaller, so if you are constrained with time, you might want to reserve. Further, if you are travelling during the peak season (April 27 - May 7, August 10-16, and Dec 28 - Jan 6), you might want to reserve, even with the ferries.
        • If taking the Hibiscus, there's a bus straight from Kagoshima-chuo Station to the port (谷川港), JPY380 one way. Only one roundtrip bus a day. This doesn't show on Google maps. 
        • Ferry/Jet foil schedules below. Prices as of 2021. 
  • Mountain huts. 
    • Paid. None.
    • Free. Plenty all over. Huts are infested with mice though, so make sure to hang your food. 
      • Shiratani Hut (白谷小屋). Max 60 people. 
      • Takatsuka Hut (高塚小屋). Max 20 people.
      • Shin-Takatsuka Hut (新高塚小屋). Max 60 people. Pretty old and dilapidated, but it will do as a cover from the elements. 
      • Yodogawa Hut (淀川小屋). Max 40 people. There's a water source near the hut. 
    • Camping. Not really in the maps, but there's a flat ground in front of Yodogawa Hut. 
Itinerary - via car rental
We initially planned an overnight hike (see the original itinerary in comment below), but with a friend's feedback that our waterproof shoes will be soaked regardless with the stream trails if it rains, we decided to rent a car and just do a dayhike. 

  • am. Arrival at Kagoshima. 
  • pm. Fly to Kagoshima
Friday / Saturday.  *days kept flexible depending on the weather*
  • 05:00am. Drive to the trailhead. Start hike.
  • 04:30pm ish. Done with hike. 
  • Explore Yakushima. 
  • 08:10am. Ferry to Kagoshima Port.
  • 02:40pm. ETA: Kagoshima Port. 
  • 03:15pm. Bus, Kagoshima port to Kagoshima-chuo Station. 
  • 10:55am. Flight, Kagoshima to Tokyo. 

Actual Log - via car rental
  • 08:10am. Flight, Tokyo to Kagoshima. 
  • 10:20am. Arrived at Kagoshima. 
  • 03:25pm. Flight, Kagoshima to Yakushima. 
  • 04:05pm. Arrived at Yakushima. Our car rental guy picked us up, took us to our car rental, and we drove from there. Checked in to our hostel
  • Since we had a bit of time, we went to Yahazudake Shrine (gorgeous!) and Isso Lighthouse (meh) before having one of the best dinners I've ever had in Japan at Panorama
  • 05:00am. Drove to the trailhead. While driving, we decided that we want to go scuba diving, so I booked a tour
  • 06:30am. Started hike.
  • 07:12am. Arrived at Yodogawa hut. 
  • 10:34am. Arrived at summit. Had our break. 
  • 11:15am. Started our descent. 
  • 03:29pm. Back at the parking lot!
  • We drove to Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen, but the water level was too high so we were not able to take a dip. 
  • This time we ate dinner the supposedly popular Shiosai (meh). 
  • 08:20am. Went scuba diving. We booked with this tour and paid JPY8,000 per person. Highly recommended!
  • 10:30am. Went back to our hostel, showered. 
  • 11:30am. Lunch.We tried the kame no te (turtle's feet), a local dish. It was.... weird. Haha. 
  • 12:50pm. Arrived at Shiratani Trailhead. We were planning to go to Jomon Sugi, only to be told it's a ten hour hike. Uhm, we decided to just drive around and see the Yakushima falls. 
  • 06:00pm. Returned the car. 
  • Our last dinner was yakiniku. It was ok.  
  • 07:30am. Bought our tickets for the ferry. 
  • 08:10am. Ferry to Kagoshima Port.
  • 02:45pm. Arrived: Kagoshima Port. 
  • 03:15pm. Bus, Kagoshima port to Kagoshima-chuo Station. Checked in to our very modern hostel. Ate dinner.  I just had the Okonomiyaki and the karaage across the street coz I was feeling lazy haha. 
  • 08:00am. Bus, Kagoshima-chuo Station to Kagoshima Airport. In hindsight, better to take the bus from Tenmonkan (天文館) as that is the first stop.
  • 10:55am. Flight, Kagoshima to Tokyo. 
  • 11:40am. Back in Tokyo!!!

View from our hostel while we were getting ready. 

Yodogawa trail parking lot. To the left is the trail. 

The hike started mossy. 

With gorgeous HUGE mossy trees. 

This trail sign is all over.

Plenty of planks. 

Did I say mossy?

Mossy rocks too. Right next to the trail. 


Yodogawa Hut. 

Plenty of room. Sorry it's blurry. 

Right outside the hut. I consider this a decent camping spot. 

Toilets next to the hut. 

Crossed a bridge. 

View from the bridge.

The trail is in the middle of a rainforest so plenty of roots and trees. WATCH YOUR HEAD coz the branches are all over and I can still feel my head shaken haha. 

The swamp area. 

A popular spot for breaks. 

Can you see the water on the trail? No? 

What about now? Know what, just watch the video. 

First chain/rope section. 

I think this was the third, and the fourth is right after. 

Hikers taking pictures of Bambi, and the summit covered in clouds in the background. 

Utterly gorgeous views. 

Planks! How many times have I said planks??? haha. 

A summit marker. But not THE summit. 

THE summit. 

View from the top. If we were traversing, we would have had taken this trail.

On our way back. 

Two statue-like rocks facing each other. Do you see it? 

Continuing on. 

Lots of green. 

Some "slanted" trails. 

A good break spot. 

This is the "view spot" early on the hike. We skipped it going up, and checked it on our way down. It was meh. 

Donating at the entrance. 

Some monkeys on the side of the road. There were so many of them!


  1. Itinerary - public transportation, overnight hike at a free mountain hut.

    - am. Arrival at Kagoshima.
    - 06:00pm. Ferry, Kagoshima to Miyanoura Port.

    - 07:00am. ETA: Miyanoura Port. Buy the bus pass for JPY4,000, 3 days, available at the port.
    - 08:10am. Bus, Miyanoura Port to Bus stop 29. Shiratani (白谷雲水峡登山口), JPY560 normally. I initially put Bus Stop 72: Kigen-sugi (紀元杉) as the starting point, but with the expected start of 10:30am, the ETA to the hut is 6:45pm, which I simply think is too late.
    - 08:45. ETA, Bus stop 29. Shiratani.
    - 09:00am. Start hike.
    - 04:40pm. ETA: 新高塚小屋. Rest for the day.

    - 05:00am. Start hike.
    - 08:50am. ETA: Summit.
    - 01:20pm. ETA: Bus Stop 72: Kigen-sugi (紀元杉)
    - 02:55pm. Bus, Kigen-sugi to Bus Stop 68: 屋久杉自然館. JPY940 normally.
    - 03:48pm. ETA: Bus Stop 68: 屋久杉自然館. Bus Stop 68 to Bus Stop 20: Miyanoura Port. JPY980 normally. Stay for the night.

    - 08:10am. Ferry to Kagoshima Port.
    - 02:40pm. ETA: Kagoshima Port.

    - Leave Kagoshima.


Post a Comment

Comments are like mail in my postbox. Such a nice surprise. ^__^