X

Hiking mysterious Yakushima Island for Street View (pictures)

Home to giant cedar trees and massive annual rainfall, this island in southern Japan inspired Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke."

headshots_Tim_Hornyak_140x100.jpg
headshots_Tim_Hornyak_140x100.jpg

Tim Hornyak

See full bio
yakushima_scenary.jpeg
1 of 5 Google Japan

Cedar country

Google Street View hikers recently climbed into the interior of Yakushima Island off southern Japan to photograph its famed cedar trees.
yakushima_trekker1.jpeg
2 of 5 Google Japan

Into the interior

The hiking trail leading into the heart of Yakushima Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features an abandoned logging railroad track. It's a flat, easygoing walk until the path heads up the mountainside.
yakushima_trekker.jpeg
3 of 5 Google Japan

Wilson's Stump

A Google Street View hiker pauses by Wilson's Stump, a cedar that was felled in the 1500s and named for English plant collector E.H. Wilson in the 1900s. It is believed to have been some 3,000 years old and had a base circumference of over 100 feet. The wood was apparently used in the construction of Hoko-ji temple in Kyoto.
IMG_7361.jpg
4 of 5 Google Japan

Yakusugi

Yakushima's interior is known for its yakusugi, a type of cryptomeria (Japanese cedar) that is more than a thousand years old. The high rainfall on the island allows these cedars to live longer than others in Japan.
IMG_7180.jpg
5 of 5 Google Japan

The granddaddy of them all

In the background is Yakushima's Jomon Sugi, an 83-foot-tall cedar with a trunk measuring 53 feet around.

Estimated to be anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 years old, Jomon Sugi is the oldest tree on Yakushima, the oldest conifer in Japan, and a destination for thousands of hikers who visit Yakushima every year.

More Galleries

See NASA's Bold Artemis I Moon Mission Unfold in Stunning Images
Gray moon looms large as Orion spacecraft appears on the left side in a partial view.

See NASA's Bold Artemis I Moon Mission Unfold in Stunning Images

13 Photos
Check out the 2023 Toyota Prius' New Look
2023 Toyota Prius

Check out the 2023 Toyota Prius' New Look

52 Photos
2023 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance Packs 621 HP
2023 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance

2023 Audi RS 6 Avant Performance Packs 621 HP

49 Photos
2023 Audi RS 7 Performance Is a Sharper Sportback
2023 Audi RS 7 Sportback Performance

2023 Audi RS 7 Performance Is a Sharper Sportback

49 Photos
2023 Honda Pilot Bows in Upscale Elite, Rugged TrailSport Specs
2023 Honda Pilot

2023 Honda Pilot Bows in Upscale Elite, Rugged TrailSport Specs

62 Photos
2024 Kia Seltos Sharpens Up Its Looks
2024 Kia Seltos

2024 Kia Seltos Sharpens Up Its Looks

19 Photos
2023 Honda Accord Debuts New Look, Hybrid Updates
2023 Honda Accord Hybrid

2023 Honda Accord Debuts New Look, Hybrid Updates

34 Photos