|Location:||From Ikura follow road 50 uphill to Kusama. Turn right at the Bihoku Land Improvement Zone, follow road to the end. (Latitude: 34.93845, Longitude: 133.55990)|
|Classification:||Natural Bridge Collapsed Cave|
|Light:||n/a, bring torch|
|Address:||Rashōmon, Niimi, Okayama 719-2641, Tel: +81 867-72-6136.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|25-AUG-1930||Atetsudai karst declared a National Natural Monument.|
|2007||listed as one of Japan's 100 best geological features.|
Rashōmon (羅生門) is the name of a city gate, either in Nara or in Kyoto. Film enthusiasts probably know the movie Rashōmon by Akira Kurosawa which was named after the Kyoto gate. This place is also called Rashōmon, meaning a Natural Bridge.
Starting from a small parking lot there is a trail through the forest. There are actually four cave ruins or natural bridges, and there is a wooden platform to view the most impressive one. Once there was a single cave, but the ceiling became too thin and it collapsed from its own weight. Only the places where the ceiling was thicker remained.
The trail connects the bridges and caves, and it is possible to easily enter the caves on the trail, but we recommend sturdy walking shoes and a flashlight. Be careful at the first natural bridge because there is the danger of rock fall. This arch is 38m high and 17m wide and is the actual Rashōmon. On the other side there is a group of two bridges which are connected. The fourth bridge is actually a semi wild cave, which is 300m long and ends at a sump.