There are several ways of getting to Yakushima, an island that is a World Heritage Site located off the coast of Kyushu.
From Kagoshima, perhaps the most pleasant option is a two-hour ride on the "Toppy" jetfoil.
"Toppy" means flying fish in the local dialect, and the boat does indeed "fly."
On the day we rode across the bay to Yakushima, the seas were rough but the ride smooth once the jetfoil kicked in and the boat lifted up and out of the water as it glided forward.
The fee is 7,000 yen one way.
For those who prefer a slower, cheaper, and possibly rougher ride, regular ferry service is also available. The Yakushima Ferry 2 departs Kagoshima New Port in the morning, and costs 5,000 one way for a four-hour ride to the island. For an extra fee, you can bring your car as well.
(Flights are available from Kagoshima Airport, but as the airport is so far outside the city this is not a good option. If you are coming , however, from Kansai - Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara - flights from Itami Airport take one hour and 15 minutes.)
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Saturday, March 13, 2010