Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima

Refined luxury in a nature lover’s paradise

Nestled far away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Japan is the mystical and enchanting subtropical island of Yakushima. This paradise of soaring mountains and spectacular ancient forests has been attracting Japanese nature lovers for decades, but has remained relatively off the map for foreign visitors.

The island boasts many outdoor activities and attractions, including hiking across the mountainous and rugged interior, visiting the giant yakusugi cedar trees, relaxing in open-air hot springs and watching sea turtles lay their eggs on warm summer nights.

Amid this awe-inspiring natural setting, Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima offers a fabulous boutique getaway with world-class facilities, dining and service to make your stay on Yakushima a memorable one.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Sankara is wonderfully secluded on the southeast corner of Yakushima, considered to be one of Japan’s natural wonders. The luxury hotel overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by pristine forests, tumbling waterfalls and towering mountains, making it a retreat for those looking to get away from it all.
  • Beyond the magnificent natural setting, it’s the staff’s attention to detail and sublime hospitality that keep loyal guests coming back year after year.
  • The hotel’s two restaurants, Ayana and Okas, specialize in exquisite French cuisine with a Japanese influence. Using only the finest local ingredients, seasonal dishes make the most of Yakushima’s unique climate and landscape.
  • To reinvigorate your body and mind after a day exploring the island, head to Sankara’s stunning spa. Expertly trained staff help you choose from the extensive range of options, including Algologie seaweed facials, mineral body wraps, Eastern massages and stretching sessions.
  • Yakushima is one of Japan’s most celebrated natural World Heritage Sites, famous for its ancient cedar forests where trees grow to huge proportions and can be thousands of years old. Known as yakusugi, most of these trees are found deep in the mountains and a plethora of well-maintained trails make hiking one of Yakushima’s must-do activities.

Things to Know

  • Not far from the Yakushima hotel is the road to Yakusugi Land, a nature park that is home to several 1,000-year-old cedars and organizes easy guided walks ranging from 20 minutes to three hours.
  • The hotel is just off the main ring road, which loops around the island, and although there are useful buses that run between the main villages, renting a car gives you much more freedom and flexibility to explore. Car rentals are near the ferry ports at Miyanoura and Anbo, and from Yakushima Airport.
  • Only children over the age of 15 are permitted to stay here, so you can expect a fairly quiet and relaxing environment at the property.
  • Free pickup and drop-off service is available for both the ferry port at Anbo and Yakushima Airport. Just be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

The Rooms

  • The Samudra Villas offer 24 beautiful guest rooms in a secluded forest setting with stylish polished-wood floors and delightfully spacious living areas.
  • The huge Sankara Suite features two bedrooms and is one of the most luxurious accommodations at the property. This suite has its own spa room and an elegant outdoor bath to keep you fully immersed in the nature of Yakushima.
  • Three Sankara Junior Suites have modern Asian-inspired décor and a rich teak finish for a natural feel. The Sankara Villa Suite has a magnificent wooden deck boasting panoramic ocean views.
  • Bathrooms are well stocked with Thann hair and shower gels, while other amenities use locally sourced and eco-friendly materials, such as soap derived from the island’s plants and flowers with a gentle scent of Yakushima cedar.

The Restaurants

  • Both Ayana and Okas restaurants feature local ingredients in seasonal dishes. For example, you might have wild mountain vegetables in the spring and sweet tropical fruits during the summer.
  • Executive chef Chiharu Takei’s wagyu beef course is simply sublime.
  • Ayana is a casual prix-fixe-style restaurant, with a classic Balinese teak interior, where you can dine while looking out over the pool.
  • Okas’ theatrical open kitchen allows you to watch the culinary team prep fine French fare from your table that has ocean views

Getting There
553 Haginoue, Mugio, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima 891-4402 Japan
KUM (28 min)  
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