Shigeaki Kinoshita/Yakushima Guide Yamazuki (literally Mountain Lovers)
“Empty-handed camping” is popular!!
A night at a luxury hotel or at a guesthouse with particularly fine cooking may be nice, but there is also something exceptional about a breezy night under a starry sky in a location with few streetlights. Shigeaki Kinoshita, the owner of Yakushima Guide Yamazuki, makes use of locations in local villages and coastal campgrounds to provide just such an experience for men and women, young and old – and he calls it “empty-handed camping.”
“Empty-handed camping” has gained popularity among families who are interested in camping, but aren’t ready to purchase all of the equipment, or who have small children who aren’t ready to hike in the mountains but want to experience Yakushima’s nature.
Mr. Kinoshita selects a camping place in a campground near the ocean in keeping with the direction of the wind and other natural factors. As the title “empty-handed camping” suggests, the participants come empty-handed and Mr. Kinoshita provides all of the food and equipment. In this way, even a beginner can enjoy a special outdoor experience, swinging on a hammock in the forest, roasting a chicken in a Dutch oven, or drinking tea beside a blazing fire. While Mr. Kinoshita picks the location, his guests can enjoy taking part in the preparation work, learning how to pitch a tent or make a fire.
I hope my guests will continue to feel the presence of nature even after returning to their everyday lives…
Mr. Kinoshita has been fond of hiking and other outdoor activities since he was a teenager, and in 2009, he moved to Yakushima to become a guide. After working as a guide for a time, he started his own business in 2014. While conducting regular tours to the popular Yakushima Jomon cedar and the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, he is forever coming up with other fun ways to interact with nature.
Mr. Kinoshita said, “I was greatly influenced by a nature guide whom I met while traveling in Australia. After the tour I continued to feel the presence of nature and that is what I hope for others to feel even after returning to their regular lives.” That’s the kind of guide Mr. Kinoshita wants to become.
Written by Mikako Takada, Isso Coffee Editorial Office
Yakushima Guide Yamazuki
2517-67 Anbo, Yakushima Township
Kumage District, Kagoshima 891-4311