ヤジャーガマ洞窟

Yajagama Cave - Yajiyagama Cave


Useful Information

Location: Yajiyagama Cave, Nakachi, Kumejima, Shimajiri District, Okinawa 901-3136.
On Kumejima (Kume Island), 1,5 km east of the airport.
(26.369316, 126.733576)
Open: no restrictions.
[2020]
Fee: free.
Guided Tour: Adults JPY 2,500.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch.
Dimension: L=800 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Yajiyagama Cave, Nakachi, Kumejima, Shimajiri District, Okinawa 901-3136.
JAL JTA SALES Co., Ltd, 901-0142 150, Kagamimizu, Naha-shi, Okinawa Naha Airport domestic airline traveler terminal building south wing 1F, Tel: +81-98-857-2532.
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


Description

ヤジャーガマ洞窟 (Yajagama Cave) is a former river cave with a single huge passage. The cave drained toward the sea, and so the cave end in a valley where formerly the water which came from the cave was flowing to the sea. Today the cave is dry and the drainage is one level deeper. The cave has some nice speleothem, but actually it is famous for various endemic troglobionts which were found in the cave. Beneath bats the cave houses various insects and crabs. The cave is type locale for the Atachycines apicalis gusouma Sugimoto & Ichikawa, 2003.

Yajagama Cave was developed as a show cave with a trail, but for some reason without light. Probably because there are not enough visitors to make a real show cave profitable. So there is a huge explanatory sign at the entrance and visitors can see the cave on self guided tours. A local, who is interested in "his" cave and very knowledgeable, sometimes joins the visitors and does a free tour in Japanese and English. His tours are described as worthwhile and entertaining, and he even provides flashlights. Obviously the cave is rarely visited and the locals are proud of their cave and still happy to share.

When leaving the airport parking lot follow 80 for 600 m. Turn left at unsigned turnoff and follow road for 840 m, turn right on paved single lane road for 500 m. The distance from the airport is less than 2 km, you could walk in half an hour. There is a sign for the cave on the right and the new parking lot for 10 cars is on the left, with a short trail to the cave entrance inside a patch of forest.

Another possibility to visit the cave is with a guided tour with a tour operator. For example the Yaja-Gama Cave Expedition by the JapaWalk company is offered at the airport. The guide introduces the ancient culture and ecology. Flashlight, helmet, gloves, and gum boots are provided. The tours are currently not offered due to Corona [2022].