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Washing the soul in the primeval forest-exploring the footprints of Princess Mononoke on Yakushima

Destiny cannot be changed by anyone, but he can decide whether to wait for death or face it. -Hayao Miyazaki, “Princess Mononoke”

Preface
I have always been a lazy person afterwards. Every time you go out to play, you can spend a considerable amount of time in the early stages of strategy and preparation, but after returning, even if you have been thinking about doing some travel notes, you can remember yourself a few years later, but every time your thoughts are stifled in the boundless. Among the trivia. It was not until this trip to Japan that I entered the forest of “Princess Mononoke” written by Hayao Miyazaki, and realized that if I didn’t write down something, I would have some regrets in my life.

Yakushima
Yakushima is an island in Kyushu, Japan. It belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture and is located in the sea south of Kagoshima. The mountain area of ​​the entire island accounts for 75%, and it rains all year round. It was included in the World Natural Heritage in 1993. Even a Japanese, when he hears that you are going to Yakushima, he will think this is a very powerful thing. When Master Miyazaki entered Yakushima, he was inspired by the local forest scenery and created the work “Princess Mononoke.” And we, because of this work, included Yakushima in the itinerary of this trip to Japan.

Traffic to

There are two ports on Yakushima Island: Miyanoura and Abo, and an airport. There are fast boats (about 3.5 hours) and slow boats (about 5 hours) from Kagoshima to Yakushima by ferry. Kagoshima takes about 40 minutes by plane (Japan Airlines: www.jal.co.jp). Whether it’s a ferry or an airplane, there are only a few limited flights a day. If there is a typhoon or bad weather, the ferry will be out of service, so you must check the time in advance, plan and file. (High-speed ferry: http://www.tykousoku.jp Ferry: http://ferryyakusima2.com) We originally planned to go by ferry this time, but unfortunately encountered the approaching weather of Nanchuan typhoon, the whole trip was almost cancelled. Turns around, and finally went by plane at the airport.
Yakushima Airport is the smallest airport I have seen so far, and it is not too simple to describe it as simple. The entire airport may be as big as a small factory building of 200-300 square meters, but the sparrows are small but well-equipped.

Transportation and accommodation on the island

Yakushima can be said to be an isolated island. Whether it is accommodation, transportation, or supermarkets, you can only use cash on the island, so remember to get enough cash before you go to the island! ! (It was because the itinerary was disrupted and the cash was insufficient after landing on the island. After many setbacks, we got the cash at the post office next to the port of Anfang. Also note that the ATM machine is not 24 hours, and will be closed at night)
There are three types of transportation on the island: rent a car for self-driving, taxi (chartered car) or bus. Self-driving requires an international driver’s license and it is very inconvenient to drive on the left in Japan. A taxi is about 2,000 yen for five minutes, and a chartered car is 28,800 yen for 8 hours and 18,000 yen for 5 hours. The bus is more cost-effective. Major tourist information offices sell unlimited passes for 1 to 4 days, and the 3-day pass is only 3,000 yen. However, the number of shuttle buses per day is limited. Basically, one bus stops at the station every hour, so you need to look at the schedule and wait at the platform a few minutes in advance. (The timetable can be picked up for free at the airport, port and various tourist reception centers. The bus stops at the station for no more than five minutes at the latest. You can download the Yakushima bus schedule on www.realwave-crop.com.)
Eating on the island is not particularly convenient, there are not many restaurants, and the main places to eat are concentrated near the two ports. The most affordable way is to go to the supermarket to purchase, whether it is bento or fruit, there is quality assurance. Of course, you still have to pay in cash!

This time we stayed at Cottage Morinokokage, a three-minute drive from Anbo Port. When the double cabin is cheaper, it is less than 500RMB per night. There is a hammock in the room. When the weather is good, you can see the starry sky at night. The key boss can speak English, which is a recommended homestay.
When the typhoon first arrived, the sky was gray.

The typhoon landed on the next day, it rained all day, and stayed in the cabin for a day.
The typhoon has gone on the third day, the sky is clear, and the weather is rare.
I actually saw the starry sky at night, but it was a pity that the phone couldn’t capture it.

One day in Shiratani Yunshui Gorge
The day after the typhoon, we embarked on a journey to Baigu Yunshui Gorge, and we had a good time to take the bus and wait at the stop sign. We don’t have professional mountaineering equipment like the Neon people, only the determination to move forward.

Shiratani Unsui Gorge is a valley of the Shiratani River, a tributary of the Miyanoura River in the northern part of Yakushima. Due to the abundant rainfall in this area, huge rocks such as Taiko Rock formed after the erosion of granite spread out continuously, covering dense primary forest. The big forest saved by the protagonist in Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” is this white valley Yunshui Gorge forest.

There are three hiking trails in Baigu Yunshui Gorge, and the whole journey is about 20 kilometers, and the scenery is different everywhere. We can only choose the closest route.
There is a Yayoi cedar over three thousand years old in the depths of the forest. I don’t know if Princess Mononoke and White Wolf live there.
I have seen many guides saying that it rained lightly when climbing the Baigu Yunshui Gorge, but we encountered superb weather.
There are not many signs on the road, but some tree poles on each correct road will be tied with pink ribbons to guide each traveler.

The small wooden house in the deep forest is the only place in the deep mountains for tourists to solve the three problems.

When I first saw this bush, I felt a lot like Sallyman’s dog in “Howl’s Moving Castle”.

I have read a guide saying that there are 10,000 different greens that can be seen here. When I saw it, I realized that I didn’t overstate it.

Yaku cedar is known as the sacred tree on the island and is said to be guarded by gods. Crafts made of Yaku cedar are very precious.

In the forest, you will feel from time to time that the elf is walking gently by your ear, but when you turn your head, it has quietly disappeared.

In the end, we walked to the moss forest and returned on the same route. Because with a four-year-old child, I can’t climb the deepest point to look at the entire forest. The whole walk is about six hours.

postscript

On the way back to the hotel, I saw a beautiful sunset. I have to fly back early the next morning. Although the itinerary is hurried this time, I only saw the Baigu Yunshui Gorge. I didn’t have time to see the turtles laying on the sea stall at night, as well as the museum and the other two Yaku cedar lines. To the forest in my mind is enough. Next time, I will definitely come again.
You are in the forest, I am in Dadara city, we, live together. -Hayao Miyazaki, “Princess Mononoke”

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