Shitoko 志戸子

Located between Miyanoura and Isso, Shitoko is a village with a population of 300. Like most of the villages on Yakushima, Shitoko was once a fishing village. During the flying fish fishing season in May, everyone in the village used to participate in fishing in one way or another. Today there are a handful of fishermen going mackerel fishing every morning. Shitoko is known for the beautiful cherry blossoms that can be seen in the mountains in the springtime. This is a place where you can get a glimpse of what it is like to live in Yakushima. Sea turtles can be spotted in the small port by the Banyan Park.

Join the Shitoko Walking Tour to learn more about the culture and history of the village.

SIGHTS

Shitoko Gajumaru Banyan Park

(志戸子ガジュマル公園)

Banyan trees used to grow all along the coast of the village and protected it against strong wind from the sea. Now a public run park, you can see the fascinating trees, also known as strangler fig along with other tropical plants.

Hours: 8:30 to 17:00

Closed: December 29 to January 3

Admission: 240 yen

 

Sumiyoshi Shrine

(住吉神社)

A Shinto shrine worth visiting. It’s unknown when the shrine was first built but the current main shrine was built in 1970. A row of magnificent cedar trees leads you to the main shrine. Behind the main shrine is a giant banyan tree wrapped around a cedar tree.

From the main road, go up the hill where Banyan Park road sign directs you towards the sea. Walk for about five minutes and you will find the shrine gates on the right. 

Eating

Kiina Cafe

Tucked away behind the banyan trees, this is a true gem of a place. The very skilled owner has renovated a traditional house into this delightful cafe. Serves delicious fish sandwiches and yummy homemade cakes. Everything is just amazing you’d want to order everything on the menu.

Located next to the Banyan Park.

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00

Closed: Sunday to Tuesday

Kiina (Instagram)

Getting to Shitoko

Bus

10 minutes, 340 yen from Miyanoura Port (stop no.20). Get off at Shitoko (stop no.14).

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