“Yakushima,” is an island in the south side of Kyushu and has mountains that are over 2,000 m tall, is located off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. The subtropical (high temperature, high humidity) creates the perfect climate for the growth of huge cedar trees, discovered during the “Jomon Propod” (B.C . 14000 to B.C.300). The island has two attractions which you can swim and dive in the clear blue ocean or you can trek in the deep mysterious forest and mountains. The island is famous for the old cedar growth, called “Yakusugi,” the forest hosts trees that are over 7,000 years old. “Yakushima” is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The island has a couple of famous huge cedar trees, and one of them is the “Wilson Stump.” This cedar named in 1914, after “Ernest Henry Wilson” an English plant collector and “Taisho era” researcher. Wilson introduced over 2000 Asian plant species to the West. The 2,000 year old cedar tree with a 13.9m circumference was ordered cut in 1586 by “Hideyoshi Toyotomi” to build the “Osaka Castle.” Visitors can enter the open area inside of the stump and view a small shrine and a natural water spring. The stump’s popularity originates from the visitor’s view while inside the stump. When looking up at the sky, the sky’s image is framed by the stump’s “Heart Shaped” circumference.
The view is well worth the 3-hour trek to reach the stump. The forest is large, and the climate it is always rainy or misty, so please wear appropriate clothing. During inclement weather, the trail is closed, so those who plan to visit there need to check the local weather forecast before treking to visit the romantic heart shaped, “Wilson Stump.”
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