Last week, we went to Yakushima Island, visiting my Mom and Dad. It’s the first time for my daughter Lisa — we had only met up in Tokyo and Fukuoka (which is my hometown and where my other relatives live) since she was born.
Day 1: April 22
We flew from Haneda to Kagoshima, then Yakushima.
It takes about 2 hrs from Tokyo to Kagoshima, and 35 minutes from Kagoshima to Yakushima. Once we landed, I could smell the difference in the air. Humid and fresh.
My parents picked us up at the airport, and we went to Harutahama Beach (春田浜) to take a walk. It was a little cloudy, but the clear green water made me realize that we are now on the southern island.
Day 2: April 23
The sky cleared up and it was one of the most beautiful days I’ve seen in Yakushima. We decided to go around the entire island (the circumference is about 130km/80 miles) by car.
Dad drove us to all kinds of neat places, Yakushima Shrine, Environment & Culture Center, Issō and Nagatahama Beaches, Ōko-no-taki Falls, Rhododendron Park… We saw some wild deer on the roadside too.
Day 3: April 24
We went to Yakusugi Land, a hiking trail at 1,000-meter altitude. Because we have a 2-year-old with us, we took the shortest route toward the Budda Ceder (仏陀杉) to have lunch at the gazebo nearby.
It’s kind of our tradition to make coffee when we go there. This time we also made miso soup and tea 🙂
Day 4: April 25
We spent the morning at Mom’s garden, having tea and cake on a picnic table. The smell of spring flowers was really nice, so intensive it was almost like perfume.
In the afternoon, Keita flew back to Tokyo by himself. Lucky him, he had no delay or cancellation.
Mom made an apron for Lisa because she loves to put it on at her daycare. She now has her own to use at home!
Day 5: April 26
Mom, Lisa, and I were to leave for Fukuoka on the 13:15 flight this day, but the weather didn’t let us go so easy. We waited for about half an hour after the scheduled time, hoping the flight coming from Kagoshima could land so the same plane can take us to Fukuoka. Despite the crew’s effort to attempt landing several times, they didn’t make it and went back to Kagoshima.
We ended up canceling the flight and taking a high-speed craft Toppi and Shinkansen bullet train instead. Which meant the 50-minute single plane ride turned into 4.5-hour trip with a boat, taxi, and train. At least, Lisa was (I think!) excited to ride on Shinkansen for the second time in her life.
We had a short visit at my grandma’s & aunt’s assisted living residence in Fukuoka.
If you are planning to visit Yakushima someday, my one recommendation is to stay as long you possibly can. Because 1) you never know how the weather will turn out to be, and 2) it’s just a great place to spend time at. I hope my next trip is a longer one!