Both Loggerhead and Green Turtles come ashore to lay eggs. There are several turtle nesting sites on the western side of the island. Kurio Beach and Nakama Beach are located in the south west, while Nagata Maehama, Nagata Inakahama and Isso Beach are located in the north west of Yakushima.

Female turtles start arriving between May and July to lay eggs. The eggs usually hatch 45-70 days later. It is possible to witness 'egg laying', however please be aware that lights from torches and camera flashes etc can be distressing for female turtles when laying. Please respect this protected species. During the nesting season, nesting areas are usually roped off with bamboo posts and signs.

It is believed that only 1 in 5,000 turtles reach maturity. Predation, pollution and human refuse serve as severe limitations to survival.

The Sea Turtle Museum is situated opposite Inakahama and is open all year round between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays. Information is in both Japanese and English. During the nesting and hatching season the museum is open at night time. Please contact the Sea Turtle Museum (telephone and fax 0997 49-6550) for further details.
Turtles (Umigame) ウミガメ