玉泉洞

Gyokusen-do - Gyoku Sendo - Gyokusen Cave - Jade Spring Cave


Useful Information

Location: Maekawa Tamagusuku Village, Tamagusuku-mura, Okinawa.
Near Naha on the southern end of Okinawa.
Take the 331 scenic road along the coast or the freeway 47 across the island. The cave is signposted, for international tourist: the signposts contain the word "cave".
Okinawan Expressway south toward Naha. At splits, exit left toward Itoman to the tollbooth. South on the expressway extension to a stoplight at the end. Straight and then left onto Highway 48. At blue sign "CAVE" above the road turn right onto Highway 17. The village is on the left after 3 km.
From Naha bus terminal take bus 54 or 83, 45 min.
(26.140342, 127.749434)
Open: All year daily 9-17:30, last entry 17.
[2022]
Fee: Day Pass: Adults JPY 2,000, Children (4-14) JPY 1,000.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=5.000 m.
Guided tours: L=890 m, D=30 min.
Photography:  
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Gyokusendo-cave, Okinawa, A Pictorial Guide, 22pp
Address: Okinawa World Cave & Culture Park, 1336, Tamagusuku Maekawa, Nanjo-city, Okinawa Prefecture, 901-0616, Tel: +81-98-949-7421, Fax: +81-89-949-7100.
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

1967 cave discovered.

Description

玉泉洞 (Gyokusen-do, Jade Spring Cave) is said to be the second-longest limestone cave in Japan. It is located in a cultural theme park with a villa and some huts, which is called おきなわワールド (Okinawa World). In this park many Okinawan crafts and arts are shown, like glassblowing, pottery and textile dyeing. The cave can only be visited together with the park, which is not really a drawback.

A highlight of the cave are events called Doki Doki Makuratanken ("Scary Adventure"). They are intended for elementary, middle school, and high school students, and are some kind of cave trekking event. The entrance fee includes a full pass to the park, an eisa show (an Okinawa traditional style dance), exploring the cave in the dark using flashlights, and an outdoor barbeque.

The cave is famous for its wealth of speleothems. They say there are over 1,000,000 stalactites, which is a really exceptional statement. We have no idea who may have counted this. 20 years ago they said there are over 900,000 stalactites, stalagmites and pillars. Seeems the number of stalactites in the cave grows rapidly.

Extraordinary formations are Bell of the Rising Dragon, a stalagmite located in Asia's Grand Hall. Another stalagmite, the Golden Cup, is 31 meters in girth, but only 2.5 m high. The Fountain of Happiness is an impressive rimstone pool. Being more than 5 km long Gyokusendo is the longest stalactite cave on Okinawa, and the second longest in Japan.

The cave life is quite exceptional. Beneath the rather common bats, blind harvestmen, and lizards, the cave also contains the largest freshwater shrimp in Japan and giant mottled eels that grow to 1.5 m length.