ハニベ岩窟

Hanibe gankutsu - Hanibe Caves


Useful Information

Location: Yusenjimachi. From Komatsu Airport used Komatsu Bypass 8, Sasaki exit, toward Torigoe.
Open: APR to SEP daily 9-17.
OCT to MAR daily 9-16.
[2020]
Fee: Adults JPY 800, Children (6-15) JPY 500, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (20+): Adults JPY 700, Children (5-15) JPY 400.
Groups (100+): Adults JPY 600, Children (5-15) JPY 350.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: electric
Dimension: L=150m.
Guided tours: n/a
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Hanibe Caves, Myoji Temple, 1 Ryumyojimachi, Komatsu City 923-0065, Tel: +81-761-47-3188, Fax: +81-0761-47-0059. E-mail:
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

1951 founded by the artist Yuma Tsugata.

Description

ハニベ岩窟 (Hanibe gankutsu - Hanibe Cave) is quite famous. There are strange places in Japan, but this is one of the weirdest we found so far. An underground tunnel system with niches full of some kind of Buddhist statues and the parody of hell. Probably you have seen the Tiger Balm Gardens, its the same but more on the naive side. Definitely worth a visit.

This place was once a quarry, and it seems the miners followed the best quality rocks underground creating huge caverns. Those were long abandoned, when shortly after World War II the artist Yuma Tsugata discovered the place, according to legend while he was drunk.

Some of the sculptures are quite normal buddha statues. The symbol for the cave is the Hanibe Shakyamuni Daibutsu, the head of buddha at the parking lot is 15m high. But in the caverns there are life size depictions of creative torture methods from hell. People cut into half by an axe, strangled by snake-like ropes, and demons sitting at a table drinking sake. In another section scenes from the kamasutra can be found, probably the heaven for the hell. And some are actually impossible to understand for westerners. They look like figures from Japanese fantasy movies.