The Ōsumi Islands (大隈諸島) comprise the two main islands of Yakushima and Tanegashima and the seldom-visited triumvirate of islands known as Mishima-mura. The all-star attraction in the group is World Heritage–protected Yakushima, known in Japan as a 'power-spot' (パワースポット, paawaa supotto) for its ancient cedar trees. The island, most easily accessed from Kagoshima city, is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, enticing large numbers of domestic and international visitors every year.
Neighbouring Tanegashima's claim to fame is as the home of Japan's space program, but despite being a popular surfing destination for domestic surfers, the island sees relatively few foreign travellers.
Of the Mishima-mura group, the most commonly visited island is tiny Iō-jima, a gem of a volcanic island with natural onsen (hot springs).
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ōsumi Islands.