Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Center is base for efforts towards realizing the goal of living in harmony with nature, the “The Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village Concept”. Located close to Miyanoura Port, this facility offers comprehensive information on the nature and culture of Yakushima
Reinforced concrete 2-story design, partial steel frame
9am-5am（Entrance closes at 4:30）
The Large Screen Theater and the Exhibit Hall are charged as follows:
|Individual||Group(20 or more)|
|Adults||520 yen||420 yen|
|360 yen||290 yen|
|260 yen||210 yen|
|Children under 6||Free||Free|
Yakushima’s great natural environment is shown on an ultra-wide screen.
On the slope of the spiral walkway through the atrium, visitors proceed from ocean to village, forest, and mountain top.
Through video and computers displays, visitors can access information on the nature, weather, culture, and wildlife of Yakushima.
And, Wi-Fi is available for free.
Lectures on basic environmental studies related to Yakushima and environmental program guides are held here. School groups and environmental organizations are invited to make use of this facility.
“Yakushima, Symphony of Forest and Water” is shown on a 14-by 20-meter screen. It brings to life a dynamic introduction to the nature of Yakushima.
（Running time: approx. 25 min.）
|Show time||9:20 am-9:45am|
The exhibition hall displays models, samples, panels, videos, and images. It introduces Yakushima’s exceptional nature environment and lifestyles of the islanders in an easy-to-understand format.
On Yakushima precipitation is so heavy that it is said to rain for 35 days a month! This rainfall is demonstrated by the Yakushima topographical model, located in the center of the hall, and the “rainfall chandelier” descending from the ceiling. The tremendous rainfall on the island and the wide distribution of plant life, from subtropical to cold regions, is a result of Yakushima being an island of high mountains-including Kyushu’s highest, Mt. Miyanoura-dake. The exhibition also looks at the formation and climate of Yakushima, as well as its ocean current.
Yakushima is Japan’s premier nesting site for sea turtles. Why do sea turtles nest on Yakushima? It seems to be related to the flow of the warm sea current, the Kuroshio, and to Yakushima’s beautiful ocean and beaches. The Kuroshio has also brought diverse benefits from the sea to the islanders since ancient times. This section further introduces the past and present of people making a living from the sea, especially from flying fish and mackerel.
In Yakushima, where mountains extend almost to the sea, villagers have developed only in the flat coastal areas. In the village’s subtropical climate, influenced by the Kuroshio’ Current, people in the past harvested sweet potatoes and sugar cane. Today they thrive by cultivating fruit, especially Ponkan and Tankan oranges, and practicing flowering plant horticulture with cymbidium and other orchids. Yakushima has been known as the medicine island since ancient times, a fact that is said to be related to the origin of the island’s name. Today, too, the cultivation of Gajutsu (a herb of the ginger family) is thriving. The plant is processed into digestive medicines in the island’s factories.
Forests cover ninety percent of Yakushima’s surface. Numerous tree species are disturbed, from the laurel-leaved forest of the coastal areas to the tree line near the Okudake peaks. Giant Yaku-sugi cedars, known to be several thousand years old, are seen at altitude of 800 meters and above. In the Edo era Yaku-sugi cedars was felled and processed into wooden roof tiles, known as Hiragi, which were the sold in the Kansai area. Since Yaku-sugi cedar have thick growth rings and large amounts of resin they do not easily decay, and the stumps of trees that fell or were cut down in the Edo era remain even today. These stumps, known as Domaiboku, are methodically hauled out and made into handicrafts.
In winter, snow falls on the high peaks of the Okudake mountain range. Since ancient times, the mountain have been objects of the gods, Ippon Hoju Daigongen was worshipped on Miyanoura-dake. Nagata-dake, Kurio-dake, and other mountains in the Okudake range. Each Village community would climb the mountains to pray to the gods in a ceremony known as Takemairi. A full pilgrimage used to take place in both spring and fall, but now it takes place only in simplified form. The ancient Yaku shrine is in Miyanoura. It is recorded in the “Engishiki,” a Heian era document. The Yaku Shrine is a village shrine(satomiya) and there is a sister shrine, called Okumiya, in Okudake.