One of the highlights of our recent trip to Japan was visiting Yakushima. Being an island located between the southern tip of Japan and Okinawa, it's a little tricky to get to, but so worth the journey. If you're a Studio Ghibli fan, and know the film Princess Mononoke, the art director for the film based the sketches for the landscape on this island, and spent much time here preparing the look for the film. It is a beautiful place, covered in mountains and Cedar forests, with some trees estimated at being 7,000 years old. The island is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
We stayed at Shikinoyado-Onaida with Kentaro and his fabulous family, if you ever make it to Yakushima, they are the sweetest, most hospitable family (and great cooks too!) and I highly recommend staying there. On our first night, we brought a small treat as a gift for the kids and they were so thrilled, C was treated to some magic tricks and and game, and I had my portrait made! So CUTE! Kawaii :) By the way, this charismatic Zombie Child is a load of fun, but also polite and courteous to guests, we had the best time with the kids so they felt like we were family, especially after he produced ¥100 from an unusual place in one of his magic tricks ;)
Yakushima has a reputation for raining 35 days in a month. Somehow we completely lucked out and the 2 nights we spent there, we were treated to warm weather and clear skies. I think someone exaggerated... We had one full day to hike on the mountain, so we chose the 5 hour round trip that included the 'Mononoke Forest' which is a Primordial forest, and the inspiration for the film designs. But I'll share that with you in the next post, for now, enjoy these pictures of the island and our beautiful accommodation Looking back over the pictures, I am so incredibly eager to go back. What a peaceful, beautiful place, so in sync with nature, and such great food!