Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave

Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park draws in tourists with its natural beauty that is provided by the countless limestone formations, sinkholes, and caves spread across the plateau reaching out across 130 square kilometers. However, even with all of this, Akiyoshido Cave is a destination all of its own. Over three hundred million years ago, a movement in the Earth’s crust upheaved what was then a coral reef, leading to the formation of a karst landscape in this area, defined by unique limestone formations throughout the caves and the plateau in this park. The resulting limestone formations and stalactites have been forming over hundreds of thousands of years.

Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave

Akiyoshido Cave stretches out over approximately 10 kilometers with a ceiling that is 80 meters high in places. Tourists are able to walk through the cave for a distance of about one kilometer experiencing the stalactites and formations. One of the most notable formations is Hyakumaizara which is a terrace formation and is named for looking like 100 plates have been stacked on top of each other. Another famous formation is Ogonchu, or the Golden Column, which has a height of around 15 meters. Be sure to also see the pillar resembling Mt Fuji, which is named accordingly.

Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave
Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave

There is also a small shopping strip to explore and you can follow its blue mosaic tiled path to the scenic cave entrance which features a small waterfall. Beautiful streams of water continue to flow throughout the cave which has a maintained temperature of 17 degrees celsius throughout the year. All monuments have both the Japanese name and English translation, and there are also audio guides available in English. When you reach the end of the cave path, you can exit the cave via the elevator or turn back and walk the length of the cave again. The management of the cave have also recently been testing lighting installations in the cave and hope this can be a feature of Akiyoshido in the future.

Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave

Akiyoshido was named by Emperor Hirohito in 1926 when he visited the cave to explore the vast natural beauty, and in 1952 it was designated a Special Natural Monument. The cave and the wider park are managed by the local government and if you are interested in learning more about the history of this region and the limestone formations then you can pay a visit to the Tourist Information Centre or Eco Museum. Make sure you go to the Karst Observatory to take in the view of the plateau and visit the adjoining cafe.

Akiyoshido - Japan’s Largest Cave

Akiyoshido is accessible by a 60-minute bus from Yamaguchi Station to Akiyoshido bus station and will cost 1,210 yen each way. From here you can choose to walk to the cave or hire a bicycle for the day. Akiyoshido is open 365 days a year from 8:30-5:30 (March-November) or 8:30-4:30 (December-February). The admission fee for adults is 1,200 yen.

Facility Name
Akiyoshido
Address
Yamaguchi Pref. Mineshi Shuhouchouakiyoshi 3506-2
Hours
8:30-16:30
Closed
open everyday
Fees
Adults1,200yen、High School Students1,200yen、Junior High School Students950yen、Elementary School Students600yen
Parking Lot
Available
Introduction
Akiyoshidai, in the eastern part of Mine City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, is home to the “Akiyoshido,” Japan’s greatest limestone cave. The entrance to the cave has a height of 24 meters and a width of eight meters, and the cave’s deepest point is about 200 meters below the surface. There are plenty of sights to see such as the giant Golden Pillar, a travertine pillar with a height of approximately 15 meters, and the Hundred Saucers, which look like terraced rice-fields. The interior of the cave stretches for nearly 10 kilometers, but the sightseeing path only ventures to about one kilometer into the cave. The temperature remains stable at nearly 17°C throughout the year, and a wide range of ages can comfortably tour the cave.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Akiyoshi-dai Plateau
Address
Mimaki City Yamaguchi
Introduction
Believed to have been formed some 350 million years ago as a coral reef, the Akiyoshi-dai Plateau is one of Japan’s largest karst plateaus and boasts a total area of around 54 square kilometers. Countless rugged limestone protrusions jut out of the scenic vast grass-covered plain, and flowers can be found here growing year round. Scenic observatory offers panoramic views of the magnificent plain. The limestone of Akiyoshido, a designated Special Natural Monument, is another of the area’s highlights. The entire area is also designated as a Quasi-National Park which serves as a popular leisure spot where visitors can go hiking and trekking.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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  • Akiyoshido image

    Akiyoshido

    Travel/Sightseeing
    Yamaguchi Pref. Mineshi Shuhouchouakiyoshi 3506-2
  • dummy image

    Akiyoshi-dai Plateau

    Travel/Sightseeing
    Mimaki City Yamaguchi
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