Yakushima's Shiratani Unsuikyo

Leave the city behind in this ancient rainforest

By Peter Sidell    - 1 min read

On the rainforest island of Yakushima a few hours on the ferry from Kagoshima, Shiratani Unsuikyo is a beautiful place to explore, just unspoilt ancient temperate rainforest, dotted with only a few paths and signs. It inspired the forests in the animated Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke, and it was so very atmospheric that I wondered if one of the movie's forest spirits might appear in front of me. Once I got a little way from the start of the trails, there was no-one else about, except for the one wild deer I saw; he looked at me for a moment, then gave a high-pitched squeak and bounded off up into the trees

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Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.