8 Amazing Limestone Caves of Japan Great for an Adventure

One of the best ways to get away from the sweltering summer heat is to explore inside a limestone cave. And there is no shortage of the places for you to take advantage in Japan! Here is a list of 8 limestone caves where you will encounter some breathtaking nature’s artwork sculpted over tens of thousands of years, while enjoying the nature’s air conditioner.


Things to Do

1. Ryusendo [Iwate]

Ryusendo is famous for 5 different species of bats who live inside the cave, and said to be one of the largest limestone caves of Japan.  Along with the resident bats, the cave is one of the official national natural treasures.  The spring water that runs through the cave is pure and clear, the legend has it that a dragon used to travel through the cave once upon a time.  You wouldn’t be surprised if it was true, when you are surrounded by the magical, mystic wonder of Ryusendo.

Opening Hours: 8:30am-6pm

Open every day of the year

Admission: Adult- ¥1,000, Elementary, jr. high student- ¥500, Child- Free

HP: www.iwate-ryusendo.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-1 Kaminari, Iwaizumi-aza, Iwaizumi-cho, Iwate (Google Map)

2. Kankanedo [Akita]

Rough waves of the Sea of Japan has sculpted Kankanedo throughout the history. It is the largest cave of Oga peninsula in Akita prefecture. The characteristic of this cave is the two openings that look out towards the sea. Inside Kankanedo, the varying lights that pierce through the openings, and the waves that echo around the cave are the two main ingredients of the mesmerizing effect that takes your breath away.

HP: www.oga.arakawanet.com/nishikaigan/kankanedo.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 85 Toga Kamoasamukaiyama, Oga-shi, Akita  (Google Map)

3. Abukumado [Fukushima]

Incredible limestone formations of Fukushima’s Abukumado cave are truly nature’s wonders. Intriguingly and uniquely beautiful, some of them even received their own nicknames. One of the attractions is the 720m/half-mile long explorer’s path. There are many curious little creatures living inside this cave, so if you look carefully, maybe an extraordinary encounter awaits you!

Opening Hours: Mar. - Nov. 8:30am-5pm, Dec. - Feb. 8:30am-4:30pm

Open every day of the year 

Admission: Adult- ¥1200, Elementary, jr. high student- ¥800, Child- ¥600

HP: abukumado.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1 Takinemachi Sugaya, Tamura-shi, Fukushima (Google Map)

4. Narusawa Ice Cave [Yamanashi]

“Narusawa Ice Cave”, with its rare double tunnels, features an enormous ice column inside, thus it is quite chilly even during the summer.  It is literally a cool experience to enter the little world of ice, you wouldn’t see anything like this anywhere else.  The cave becomes quite romantic when it is illuminated, great place for a couple as well as for the entire family.

Opening Hours: Apr.-mid Oct. 8:00~17:00 (Opening hours may vary depending on the weather and the condition of the cave)

Admission: Adult- ¥350 Elementary student, Child- ¥200

HP: www.mtfuji-cave.com/en/

HP: www.mtfuji-cave.com/tc/ (中文)

HP: www.mtfuji-cave.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 8533 Narusawa-mura, Miamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi (Google Map)

5. Tensodo [Shizuoka]



Dogashima Tensodo cave is one of the nation’s natural treasures. The striking white limestone structure features a nature’s ceiling window, where you can look straight up to the sky.  The sunlight that comes shining through, reflecting on the hidden waterway underneath, creates a mystic, magical beauty like no other.  You can take a boat cruise to tour around the cave along with the beautiful coastline, sure to be an experience to remember.

Opening Hours: 8:15am-4:30pm

Open every day of the year

Admission: Adult- ¥1,200, Child- ¥600

HP: www.izudougasima-yuransen.com/en/index.html

HP: www.izudougasima-yuransen.com/ch/index.html (中文)

HP: www.izudougasima-yuransen.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address:  410-3514 Nishina Dogashima, Nishi-Izu-cho, Kamo-gun, Shizuoka (Google Map)

6. Hida Daishonyudo [Gifu]

Hida Daishonyudo, located at the altitude of 900m/3000ft, is the highest cave in Japan.  Various helictites are found hanging from the ceiling of the cave, casting a curious effect.  There are three sections in this cave.  The “nocturnal vista of the dragon palace” near the entrance is an enchanting spot, with its colorful illumination.  The noteworthy coolness makes Daishonyudo a perfect spot to escape the summer heat.

Opening Hours: Apr.-Oct. 8am-5:30pm    Nov.-Mar. 9am-4:30pm

Open every day of the year

Admission(both for the cave and the museum): Adult- ¥1,100, Elementary. jr. high student- ¥550  

HP: www.syonyudo.com/guide.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1147 Hiyomo, Nyukawa-cho, Takayama-shi, Gifu (Google Map)

7. Ryugado [Kochi]


One of the largest, the most famous caves of Japan, Ryugado of Kochi prefecture  offers several routes for the visitors to explore its wonders.  Inside the cave, curious, striking formations of all shapes are abound.  Especially the famous “God’s vase”in particular, the legend has it that a vase, which once belonged to the long gone ancestors and was left behind, has turned itself to a limestone formation.  A very popular cave where you can savor the deep sense of history as you explore.

Opening Hours: 8:30am-5pm (Dec.-Feb.  until 4:30pm)

Open every day of the year

Admission: ¥1100

HP: www.ryugadou.or.jp/index.php (Japanese Only)

Address: 1424 Sakakawa, Tosayamada-cho, Kami-shi, Kochi (Google Map)

8. Shuhodo [Yamaguchi]

Along with Ryugado and Ryusendo, Shuhodo of Yamaguchi prefecture is considered as one of the three largest caves of Japan, and is one of the special natural treasures of the nation.  It is located inside the Akiyoshidai National Park, underground of the Karst of Akiyoshidai.  Inside you will witness numerous nature’s artworks, some nicknamed as the “hundred dishes” or the “golden column”.  Under the effect of the illumination, you feel as if you are in a scene from a fairy tale.

Opening Hours:Mar.-Nov. 8:30am-5:30pm, Dec.-Feb. 8:30am-4:30pm

Open every day of the year

Admission: Adult- ¥1,200, High school student- ¥1,200, Jr. high student- ¥950, Elementary student- ¥600

HP: english.karusuto.com/

HP: taiwan.karusuto.com/ (中文)

HP: www.karusuto.com/html/01-play/02-akiyoshido.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 3506-2 Akiyoshi, Shuho-cho, Mine-shi, Yamaguchi (Google Map)

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

Restaurant Search