Exciting Japanese Destinations for Fitness and Adventure
Starting at one of the southernmost islands of Japan, Yakushima, while not one of the easiest destinations to get to, proves well worth the trek. Once you arrive on the island, it opens itself up to you in the form of breathtaking hikes and stunning coastline. With countless mountain peaks, ranging in length and intensity, you can choose and modify each experience to your own ability.
One of the most stunning hikes in Yakushima, Shiratani Unsuikyo, provided the visual inspiration for the Japanese film,Princess Mononoke. Within this single area, you find numerous options to explore and wander. The longer 10- to 13-hour trip takes you to the Jomon-Sugi Cedar, an unimaginably ancient tree estimated to be between 2,000 and 7,000 years old. This hike, while not a difficult one, can prove long.
A shorter option, the combined Taiko Iwa Course, and the Yayoi-Sugi Course take about five to six hours. The majority of this trail is easy, but you'll encounter more challenging areas that will kickstart your heart rate and calorie burn. These trails transport you to a magical oasis, a moss-covered forest with an ethereal, almost otherworldly, ambiance, each step leaving you in awe of the ancient beauty that surrounds you. Gigantic trees, many of them 1,000 years old, guide you through the forest and push you onwards. Yaku-Deer, never having a reason to fear humans, walk around the forest with as much ease as you do, connecting you to a time and place long since past.
If your adventurous spirit craves more intensity, Mt. Moccohomu-Dake remains the most difficult hike on the island. Relentlessly steep, the mountain with its never-ending incline will leave your body burning and heart rate skyrocketing. Other mountain hikes include Mt. Miyanoura- Dake, Mt. Kurio- Dake, and Mt. Okina- Dake to name a few.
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