Iwate

Stalactites and underground lakes await you deep in the belly of the earth

Venture inside…to discover new worlds!

Ryusendo Cave

Note: At the moment, the color of the lighting has been changed.
Ryusendo Cave in Iwate Prefecture is one of Japan’s three largest limestone caves. Venture into its illuminated interior and you’ll discover a whole different world. Stalactites and stalagmites sculpted over millions of years and some of the world’s clearest underground lakes are just a few of the wonders that await you. This summer, explore the mysteries of the earth as you embark on a dazzling underground adventure you won’t soon forget!

Ryusendo Cave, a Natural Monument of Japan

Entering the cave, you’ll pass through the long, narrow “Hundred-Chamber Corridor,” said to have been carved by a passing dragon. As you progress deeper, you’ll be greeted by a variety of natural sculptures, like the “Moon Palace” with its lunar landscape. The explored part of Ryusendo alone stretches 3600 meters, of which 700 meters is open to the public. The cave is home to the Japanese long-eared bat, a species endemic to Japan. Together with Ryusendo itself, it’s designated as a Natural Monument of Japan.

Some of the world’s clearest underground lakes

One of Ryusendo Cave’s star attractions is its three clear, blue underground lakes. The deepest of them is 98 meters deep, and the water—some of the clearest in the world—is a unique azure hue called “dragon blue.” The water is actually believed to come from the rain and snow that falls on Iwaizumi’s beech forests, filtering through the fallen leaves and percolating down through the earth in a years-long process. Ryusen Shindo Science Museum, located in a cave next to Ryusendo Cave, is another must-see.

Commanding views of the Sanriku Coast from the Bear’s Nose

While you’re in Iwaizumi, check out the Bear’s Nose Outlook for a splendid view of the Sanriku Coast’s picturesque “Bear’s Nose” promontory.

A summer-only treat: Water manju

Stop by Iwaizumi’s traditional Japanese sweet shops for water manju, a unique summer-only creation. The jiggly, translucent buns with their chestnut filling are a refreshing snack on a hot day.

INFORMATION

Location/Access 1-1 Kannari, Iwaizumi-cho, Shimohei-gun, Iwate
About 50m by express bus from Hanamaki Airport to JR Morioka Station → About 2hour 15minutes by bus from Morioka Station
Opening hours 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
(October through April: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm)
Inquiries Ryusendo Cave Office
TEL 0194-22-2566
http://www.iwate-ryusendo.jp

Iwaizumi Town Hall
TEL 0194-22-2111
https://www.town.iwaizumi.lg.jp

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