Tera Limestone Cave Park, Nishi, Aguni-son, Shimajiri-gun, 901-3703 Okinawa Prefecture.
|Guided tours:||self guided, D=30 min.|
Tera Limestone Cave Park, Nishi, Aguni-son, Shimajiri-gun 901-3703 Okinawa Prefecture, Tel: +81-98-988-2033.
Aguni Village Official HP, 〒901-3703 Awakunimura Nishi, Okinawa Prefecture, Tel: +81-98-988-2016, Fax: +81-98-988-2206.
|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.
洞寺 (Dōdera, Tera Cave) is located in the small Tera Limestone Cave Park on Aguni Island, north of the village Nishi. The road crosses the limestone plateau, and at the escarpment or cliff around the entrance it leads down and ends at the shore. The area along the northern coast is not used for agriculture, it's a karst plateau without water and underground drainage. The limestone is an important resource, so there are numerous small quarries. Quite new is a parking lot with some infrastructure, which is the begin of a trail. A few years ago the cave was equipped with elevated trails, railings, and LED light. The light starts automatically when a visitor enters the cave due to movement detectors. The cave has no gate and there is no entrance fee, but please respect the trails and do not leave them.
From the parking lot the trail leads downhill into a doline, which is the result of a partial collapse of the cave. At the bottom of the doline is a huge portal which is the entrance to the cave. The doline is a depression, so it is protected from wind, and the humid and cool air from the cave changes the microclimate. As a result the doline is full of lush vegetation.
About 200 years ago, a monk in Naha was exiled after losing a question and the answer. He lived the rest of his life in this cave. The people of the island worship this as a sacred place. Logging of standing trees is prohibited, and it is a place of worship.