Aya, in the eastern part of Japan’s southern Kyushu Island, harbors one of the country’s largest remaining lucidophyllous forests. The forest shows high biodiversity and embraces many indigenous species. Forest therapy and traditional recycling based agriculture in Aya Town are an ecotourism draw to the Biosphere Reserve.

Aya Biosphere Reserve consists of a plateau containing high relief mountains (over 600m), low relief Mountains (200-400 m) and Shirasu (deposits of volcanic ash and sand) layers, as well as a flat alluvial plain around the confluence of the Ayakita and Ayaminami Rivers. It is located near the center of Miyazaki Prefecture in Southeastern Kyushu, where the Kyushu Central Mountains and the Miyazaki Plain meet.

1033 botanical species, 145 fungal species, 70 avian species and 19 mammal species have been identified in the Biosphere Reserve. The area around Aya Town is the southern limit of habitats for the Japanese serow and golden eagles. Read more about this reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.

The Silk Roads on the Map

Country profile

Capital: Tokyo
Region: Asia and the Pacific

This platform has been developed and maintained with the support of:


UNESCO Headquarters

7 Place de Fontenoy

75007 Paris, France

Social and Human Sciences Sector

Research, Policy and Foresight Section

Silk Roads Programme


Follow us