Yakushima Island, famous for the Jomon Cedar Tree, its nature’s identity is more than that. Yakushima Island boasts rich nature that is also chosen as a World Natural Heritage Site, among them “Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine” is a primeval forest that attracts spectacle of mossy forest, which has been cultivated from ancient times.
In a natural recreation forest with a vast area of about 420 hectares, a fantasy world known as a model of the stage of the Ghibli movie “Princess Mononoke” (Japanese animated film) is spreading.
“Koke-Musu-Mori” (moss growing forest) is also a popular spot in Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, also known as “Forest of Princess Mononoke”. There is a fantastic scene that characters like “Kodama” appearing in the movie are likely to peep at the face. Not only trees, but all are covered with soft and deep green moss, the forest is a calm setting.
“Nanahon-Sugi” is a popular Yakusugi Cedar Tree by having its unique appearance, stretching out the seven large branches like hands covering the sky after the trunk breaks with a strong wind. It is about awe in the way that it has been nurtured for such a long time that it is not comparable to human life. Many other unique cedars can be seen at Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine.
“Koke-Kawara” is a river with moss covered with trees and rocks. Deeply fresh moss green and clean streams invite you to the shabby atmosphere of Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine.
And when you come to Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, the spot you should go to is “Taiko – Iwa” (Drum Rock). It is a place where a large granite protrudes from the mountain slope. The time to take a break while leaving the dense forest and overlooking the sky and the forest of Yakushima Island is exceptional.
Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a spot filled with a mysterious atmosphere that reminds us of ancient Japan. The mossy trees and dry riverbed seem to forget me every day in the urban daily life. Guided tours are also available, so you can trek at ease. Why do not you go and experience the fantastic forest?
Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, a valley of Shiratanigawa river which is a tributary of Miyanouragawa river in the northern part of Yakushima Island in Kagoshima prefecture. Yakushima Island is a place where there are many rainfall throughout the year, such as large rocks formed by erosion of granite due to long rainfall, and an area full of virgin forests and rich in green. It is known also as a place where the high density zone of a Yaku cedar tree starts, and the “Yayoisugi” (Japan cedar) in age-of-a-tree 3000 serves as a symbol.
The entrance to the ravine is about 12 kilometers from Miyanoura. The altitude of the entrance point is about 620 meters, and an area of about 424 hectares from there is Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine. Along the mountain streams, azalea and Yakushimashoma (Astilbe) etc are grouped, and big trees, such as a Japan cedar and a hemlock fir, can also be seen.
In the middle of this ravine there are waterfalls that flow through the gaps between granite somewhere. The most splendid thing is the sidewalk made of granite. This was made more than 100 years ago, and it is left as it was at that time.
This valley is also known to have become a model of the forest to be the stage of the animated film “Mononoke-hime” (Princess Mononoke). It is said that Director Hayao Miyazaki visits repeatedly and made visualization of the beauty of nature in this area.
Deep green moss is a tasty scene. The wonderfulness of Unsuikyo ravine seen on a sunny day has an indescribable flavor. The sunlight hitting rocks and moss is giving a more fantastic beauty, so even the divinity is felt. The surrounding nature will heal the fatigue of the trekking of the mountain stream.
|Name:||Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine|
|Address:||Kumagegun Yakushimacho, Kagoshima 891-4311 Japan|
|Access:||Approximately 35 minutes from Yakushima Airport by car.|
|Tel:||(+81) 997-42-0100 (Yakushima Town Office)|
|Price:||500 yen (High School Students or Over)|
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