嵩山蛇穴

Suse Jaana Cave - Susenoja Cave - Suse no Ana Cave


Useful Information

Location: 92, Susecho SengenshIta, Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture 441-1111.
(34.797260, 137.485300)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=70 m, A=140 m asl.
Portal: W=3.5 m, H=1.2 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Suse Jaana Cave, 92, Susecho SengenshIta, Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture 441-1111.
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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History

1922 cave excavated.
1945 cave excavated.
1965 cave excavated.
1957 declared a National Historic Landmark.

Description

嵩山蛇穴 (Suse Jaana Cave, Susenoja cave) is located at the upper end of the valley where the town Sucheco is located. The lower part of the valley has a flat and fertile floor, then it narrows and is not used for farming anymore, the hills are covered by forest. The highway 303 was built through the valley but where it narrows it goes into a tunnel today. If you follow the old road there is a parking lot with toilet named Yanagihara Susecho. From here its 130 m on a single lane road to a dam, keep left and a trail with stone steps lead uphill about 100 m to the entrance to Suse Jaana Cave.

The small cave or shelter is located at the foot of a limestone cliff. The cave entrance is only 1.3 m high and about 3.5 m wide, but the passage widens inside. It is an archaeological site where 12,000 to 6,000 years old remains were found, mostly at the entrance. The findings include Jomon pottery pressed on the front and back, stamped pottery, and earthenware. Also bone horns, food scraps including animal bones, fish bones and shells have been found. The cave was excavated four times between 1922 and 1965. It seems the cave had a strategic position at an ancient thoroughfare through the Honsaka Pass. The cave is protected as a Historic Monument and there are explanatory signs.

The cave is also known as Mountain Serpent Cave, the name “Jaana” was given because a large snake lived in the cave. Some say the snake was named Saragi and guarded buried gold. There is also a version that a supernatural warrior guarded the treasure. The cave was connected to Zenkoji Temple in Nagano Prefecture.

The cave is not developed and has no light, but there are some stone steps and small bridges of rock slabs, probably remains from the archaeologists. Bring a lamp, or if you have a helmet with headlamp, and after the initial stooping the visit is harmless and level. Got walking shoes are advisable as always. There are trails by the numerous visitors.