Ascent of Miyanoura-dake on 2011-11-16

Climber: Doug Wilson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Bus
    Elevation:6352 ft / 1936 m

Ascent Trip Report

Yakushima is the wettest spot in Japan- averaging ~176 inches of rainfall / year. The inhabitants of the island joke that it rains 35 days a month.

I had been putting off doing Miyanoura-dake due to its reputation for poor weather, but seeing a 3-day rain free forecast window finally got me going.

Rode the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kagoshima and the next morning took the regular ferry from Kagoshima to Miyanoura port (1 ferry per day leaving at 08:30, ~4 hours, 5200 yen). Nice views of Sakurajima venting ash across the bay from Kagoshima as well as the perfect symmetrical cone of Kaimon-dake when leaving Kagoshima Bay. At Miyanoura port, the bus for Yodogawa trailhead leaves 10 minutes after the ferry arrives, so it is important to get to the bus stop quickly. The bus ride to the trailhead takes about 1 ½ hrs via Anbo (1400 yen) and actually ends at Kigensugi, about 1 km from the actual trailhead, however there were only two of us on the bus, so the driver took us all the way to the trailhead. From there, it is approximately a 40 minute walk to the Yodogawa hut- an free, unstaffed, 60 person hut with beautifully polished wood floors. You will need a sleeping bag and pad. I imagine in high season the hut would be crowded, but in November there were only 4 of us. Left the hut an hour before sunrise, took about 3 hours up and had the summit all to myself. Weather looked like it was starting to change while on the summit, so I didn’t spend a lot of time there. Returned to the hut to retrieve my overnight gear and hiked down the road to Kigensugi to catch the bus back to Yakushima town. Stayed the night in the Yakushima youth hostel. It started raining about 10 PM and poured all night- nice feeling knowing I hit the weather window perfectly. Caught the Toppi Ferry (hydrofoil, 1 ½ hrs., 7000 yen) back to Kagoshima the next morning.

The Yodogawa trail is the shortest route to Miyanoura’s summit. There are multiple other routes as well if you want to spend several days climbing the peak and exploring the island interior. The island is a popular tourist spot known for its ancient cedar trees (Yakusugi).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1759 ft / 536 m
    Trailhead:4593 ft / 1399 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Hut Camp

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