An Adventure Inside the Mononoke Forest in Yakushima!

  • SPOT
  • One of the places in Japan, which is considered to be one of the world’s heritage by UNESCO, is Yakushima. Located in the southern tip of Osumi Peninsula, Yakushima is an ancient forest home to many of life’s precious and untouched greenery. The island doesn’t have any volcanoes due to its granite bedrock. This somehow makes travelers feel safer.

    History and Demography

    The island of Yakushima was first mentioned during the Sui Dynasty of the Chinese empire. It also became a popular topic for travelers. It was only during the Edo period that the island was then ruled by the Shimazu clan. This clan was considered to be the daimyo (feudal lords) of the Satsuma Domain. During this time, it became part of the Osumi Province, which is an old province in Japan, popularly known today as the eastern part of Kagoshima.
    Yakushima used to have a huge population around 1960 which reached 20,010 inhabitants. Later on, it declined to 13,000 only.

    What to Find in Yakushima

    The place is indeed abundant in vegetation, plants and animals! It is also considered as the wettest place in Japan owing to its large number of waterfalls. Here below are some of the large animals you may be able to find in this place.

    Yakushima Macaque

    The animals above are considered to be Japanese monkeys. You can also call it “Yaku Macaque.” They used to be endangered species but surprisingly, their population became high which removed them from the list.

    Japanese Weasel

    These are carnivorous mammals which are natives of Japan. They’re said to live only in mountainous areas near bodies of water.

    Additional Information

    Do you know that Yakushima inspired the forest setting in the film Princess Mononoke? It was also incorporated in the film, Rebirth of Mothra as well as Floating Clouds.