Forest & Mountain Tour (to Heart Rock)

  • An authorized guide must accompany all visits into protected forest ecosystems.
Time required About 8 hours
Cost About ¥8,000 to ¥10,000
What to take Packed lunch, drink, broken-in shoes, towel, camera, flashlight, work gloves
Packed lunch, drink, broken-in shoes, towel, camera, flashlight, work gloves
Check that you have everything. In particular, be sure you have water with you, and any other drinks you like. There are no vending machines or water fountains where we're going.

Your guide comes to pick you up at your lodgings. Put on some comfortable, well-worn shoes, and off we go.

The starting point is near Yatsuse river in Kominato. Your guide is very familiar with the area's mountains and forests. Along the way we see various endemic species, and natural features of great interest. As you continue walking, you see what appear to remnants from the war-a rusted truck, the wreckage of a jeep, and more.

Just as you begin to feel thirsty, we come to a small open space enclosed by Chinese banyans. People used to live here, and traces of their presence can be seen all around.

You've had a drink and a bit of rest, so we start again. If you look up, perhaps you will see some Ogasawara buzzards flitting about.

Continuing on, we see more remnants of war-buildings of thick concrete; a large rusty thing that looks like it was an electric generator ("Nissan" is printed on it). And then, finally, we are at Heart Rock.
We finally arrive at the cavity in the upper part of Heart Rock. People who get here often think: "It looked like a heart from the ocean; but from here it doesn't look like anything."

But in fact, there is a heart shape to be seen-although it looks a bit long in the vertical direction.

Be sure to listen to your guide's advice here, since the footing here is not stable. Looking down, you can see Minamijima and, if the weather is good, you can also make out the Hahajima island chain. If the season is right you can also spot humpback whales.

Find a place with a good view, sit down, and have your lunch.

Nearby, you can see the entrance to a deserted dug-out shelter. Go on over, turn on your flashlight, and walk in. Step carefully here, because some of this ground is mud. On the inside we see the remains of artillery, still pointing out at the blue sea and the sky.

This island, you see, once served as a fort.
We get ready to start our descent. Remember to look up at Heart Rock the next time you're on the water, where you can really see it.

At the start of spring you can see colonies of fern growing in "Fern Valley."

Returning along the same route we came, we have a second chance to notice any interesting plants and native species that we missed before. But be careful, and watch your step as you descend.

About 15:45
We arrive back at Kominato Beach.

About 16:00
Back at your lodgings. Time for a bit of rest.

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