185-44 Ibaruma, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0332.
Follow the main road 206 north on the peninsula, on the right, signposted.
All year daily 9:30-17:30.
Adults JPY 1,250, Children (4-10) JPY 600 Diasabled JPY 900.
Groups (10+): Adults JPY 1,100.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||L=324m (2x), self guided.|
|Address:||Sabichi Cave, Sabichishonyudo, 185 Ibaruma-44, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0332, Tel: +81-980-89-2121.|
|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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サビチ鍾乳洞 (Sabichi Cave) is located on the northern peninsula of the island. The full name 伊原間サビチ洞 (Ibaruma Sabichido, Iharama Sabiji Cave) includes the name of the area, where it is located. Ibaruma is the narrow part which connects the main island with the northern Peninsula. The cave entrance is located about 200 m from the sea, a 18 m wide and 48 m long doline leading down to the cave portal. The cave has a huge passage which winds 237 m downwards and finally reaches the sea. There is a nice beach with white sand and a towering limestone rock stack. As the cave is the only way to reach the hidden beach you have to return through the cave. The main passage is up to 12 m high.
The cave has a side branch, 85 m long, which ends at a cave lake which opens to another doline. It's not possible to leave the cave here, as the trail ends at the lake. The cave has a fourth opening, which is also not accessible.
The cave itself seems to be a former river cave, probably a river drained the 120 m asl mountain ridge behind the cave entrance to the sea. It formed in the Ryukyu limestone, at the unconformity to the Tomuru formation below, which is not soluble. There are speleothems, but many are covered by moss and lichen from the light in the entrance section. Others are rather unimpressive, at least not as spectacular as in the other caves of the island. But the cave is also very unfortunately lighted, with only a few very greenish lamps. A good, modern cave light would improve the cave substantially. We suggest bringing a good lamp, so you can improve the lighting yourself.
The cave has a storage section with ceramic bottles, which was obviously used to mature the local sake called Awamori. The caramic pots are all open and empty, this seems to be a display of the historic use. But there is a display of Awamori bottles in glas shelves, which are sold at the cave. The cave is a small underground museum that exhibits Okinawan crafts.
The cave is toured self guided, so you can spend as much time as you like inside, take pictures, and even spend time bathing at the beach. Just remember to wear a swimsuit and bring a towel, if you plan to do so. There are no changing rooms at the beach.