千仏洞

Senbutsu-do - Senbutsu Cave - Senbutsu Stalactite Cave


Useful Information

Location: 3-2-1 Hiraodai, Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyushu City.
20 minutes by taxi from JR Ishiharamachi Station.
(33.754364, 130.904425)
Open: Spring and Summer Mon-Fri 9-17, Sat, Sun, Hol 9-18.
Autumn and Winter daily 9-sunset.
Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
[2022]
Fee: Adults JPY 900, Children (12-14) JPY 600, Children (6-11) JPY 500, Children (4-5) JPY 200.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=16 °C (air), T=14 °C (water).
Guided tours: self guided, L=900 m, D=45 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Senbutsu Limestone Cave 3-2-1 Hiraodai, Kokuraminami-ku, Kitakyushu 803-0180, Tel: +81-93-451-0368, Fax: +81-93-451-0653.
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

1945 designated as a national Natural Monument.

Description

千仏洞 (Senbutsudō, Senbutsu Cave, Thousand Buddha Cave), or in the long form 千仏鍾乳洞 (Senbutsushōnyūdō, Senbutsu Stalactite Cave), is quite special. It is a circular river passage with a rather low ceiling, so you wade through 20 cm deep water stooping at every stalactite formation. The walls show scallops and other erosional forms. But to make one thing clear, this is not the bad thing about the cave, this is the fun. The stooped wading seems to be a great fun for young and old visitors. The cave is extremely popular with families with small children. You can rent sandals at the entrance. And bring a towel for your feet.

Senbutsudō literally means 1,000 Buddha Cave and probably this is a reference to the numerous thick stalactites, about 30, in the entrance section. They resemble the typical Buddhist cave temples which exist all over Asia, where hundreds of Buddha sculptures are placed ony any possible spot of the cave. However, the cave is not a cave temple. The passage is 900 m long, the entrance section is dry, at 480 m from the entrance the Oku no Hosomichi section starts where the water flows on the ground. The tour ends at the Yoro Waterfall and the visitors have to go back the same passage.