秋芳洞

Akiyoshidō - Akiyoshi-do - Akiyoshi Cave


Useful Information

Location: Akiyoshidai, Syuuhou-tyo, Yamaguchi. 40 minute bus ride from Jr Ogori Station.
5 min from Akiyoshidai IC in Ogōri-Hagi Expressway via Mine Higashi JCT in Chūgoku Expressway
Open: Main entrance: MAR to NOV daily 8:30-18:30, last tour 17:30. DEC to FEB daily 8:30-17:30, last tour 16:30.
Elevator entrance: all year daily 8:30-17:30, last tour 16:30.
Kurotani entrance: all year daily 8:30-17:30, last tour 16:30.
[2019]
Fee: Adults JPY 1,200, High School (16-18) JPY 1,200, Middle School (13-15) JPY 950, Elementary School (0-12) JPY 600.
Groups (20+): Adults JPY 700, High School (16-18) JPY 650, Middle School (13-15) JPY 600, Elementary School (0-12) JPY 300. Reservation required.
[2019]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave, Paleozoic limestone, coral reef.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=8.700m, T=17°C
Guided tours: L=1,000m, D=60min.
Photography:  
Accessibility: partly wheelchair accessible.
Bibliography: George Edward Gauntlett (1909): The Caves of Yamaguchi, The Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal 3 (9) 41-44
H S Torii (1957-59): Kurze Geschichte de Höhlen- und Karstforschung in Japan, [A short history of caves and karst exploration in Japan]. die Höhle, 8 (4) 104-107; 9 (2) 37-40; 10 (1) 11, 10 (4) 99-102
Address: Akiyoshidō, 3506-2 Akiyoshi, Shūhō-chō, Mine-shi, Tel: +81-837-62-0304.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1904 first published account in Japanese (Torii 1957-59).
1907 visit by George Edward Gauntlett, an English schoolmaster (Gauntlett 1909).
1926 visited by the Crown Prince Akiyoshi who gave the cave its name.
1960 cave surveyed to a length of 2km.
2000 cave surveyed to a length of 8.5km.

Description

The cave was named after the Showa Emperor Akiyoshi, on a visit in 1926, when he was still the Crown Prince.

The natural entrance is at the foot of a 50m high cliff. The entrance is 20m high and 8m wide. The tourist route runs parallel to an underground stream, and passes a complex of 500 terraced rimestone pools, large stalagmites, and large columns. Claimed to be the largest and the most splendid cave in Asia.


Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.

Akiyoshidō is more than 8 kilometers long and currently the longest cave of Japan. Japan is mostly of volcanic origin, and there are only limestone patches, so there are no rwally long caves, but the Akiyoshidai karst plateau is quite large and full of caves. The limestone is important for many things in the modern world, so there are numerous limestone quarries in the area.