竜宮洞穴

Ryugu Doketsu Iriguchi - Ryugu Lava Cave - Ryuuguu Cave


Useful Information

Location: 2068 Saiko, Fujikawaguchiko Town, Minamitsuru District.
North of Mt. Fuji, south of lake Saiko. From Narusawo Road 139 west for 4 km, turn right to Saiko for 1 km.
(35.48513152978499, 138.6680965157178)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: Speleologylava tube SpeleologyIce Cave SubterraneaCave Church
Light: bring torch.
Dimension: L=96 m, A=963 m asl, T=-2 to +3 °C, 11 °C at entrance.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: The Dragon Cave, Saiko, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0332.
Fujikawaguchiko Town Tourism Division, Tel: +81-555-72-3168.
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

1929 declared a Natural Monument.

Description

竜宮洞穴 (Ryūgū Dōketsu, Dragon Palace Cave) is a lava tube and ice cave. Like many lava tubes it is located close to the surface with collapsed sections of the ceiling allowing access. As a result it has only a pit as an entrance which makes it a cold trap. The cold air flows into the cave which is blow 0 °C during winter and only a few degrees above zero in late summer. The walls and floor are permanently covered by ice. The entrance section may reach 11 °C in summer.

The main chamber of the cave contains the セノ海神社 (Senoumi yashiro), a shinto shrine which is dedicated to the goddess Toyotama-hime no Mikoto. She is the daughter of Kami Watatsumi. The shrine is quite famous and popular, every year on 02-AUG a pilgrimage to the cave takes place. At this time the cave is best avoided because it may get crowded.

In ancient time the dragon god Ryūjin lived in the cave. During a draught the farmers asked Ryūjin for rain.

The cave is located in the Aokigahara forest and freely accessible. However, the shrine is considered sacred ground and so it is not allowed to enter the cave. There are two other ice caves nearby which can be visited. The caves in the forest are home to a rare spider which is adapted to the low temperatures.