Ryusendo Cave

A vast limestone cave system and natural treasure

Ryusendo Cave is a magnificent limestone cavern located in Iwaizumi, in the eastern part of Iwate Prefecture, japan. It is considered one of the largest limestone caves in the country and is a must-see destination for those traveling in Iwate. With its string of vivid blue and emerald green underground lakes, Ryusendo Cave offers a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors.

The cave’s entrance is just outside the town of Iwaizumi and can be easily accessed by bus from Morioka Station. Although the cave is located in a remote part of Iwate and is not well served by public transportation, taking the direct JR Tohoku Bus from Morioka Station is the best way to reach the cave. The bus journey usually takes about two hours and 15 minutes. It is important to note that if you are planning to visit Ryusendo Cave as a day trip, the last buses leave early, so it is advisable to confirm the schedule beforehand.

One of the highlights of Ryusendo Cave is its 120-meter-deep underground lake, which is Japan’s deepest. Unfortunately, this lake is not open to the public, but there are eight other fresh water lakes inside the cave, and three of them are open for viewing. The deepest of these lakes is 98 meters, and they are all illuminated, creating a surreal and ethereal atmosphere. The water in these lakes appears a vivid blue, allowing visitors to see all the way to the bottom. It is like peering into another world, a mystical and enchanting experience.

Aside from the stunning lakes, Ryusendo Cave is also known for its extraordinary natural rock formations. Throughout the cave, stalactites and stalagmites have formed over the eons, adding to its mystique. These formations can be found around every corner, and they are a sight to behold. One particular stalagmite stands out, as it resembles Jizo, the Buddhist protector of children and travelers. It is important to note that these rock formations are fragile, and touching them is strictly prohibited to preserve their integrity.

Ryusendo Cave is not only a geological wonder but also a habitat for various species of bats. Some of these bats are very rare, and spotting them can be quite a surprise. Usually, the bats are inactive during the day, but they occasionally make an appearance early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Seeing a bat zip overhead can be a memorable experience and a story to tell about your trip to Ryusendo Cave.

As you enter the cave, you can hear the sound of fresh spring water rushing out. This water is bottled and sold, as it is considered pristine and delicious. Ryusendo Cave’s water is filled with minerals, making it especially healthy. The local population is lucky enough to have access to this water for free from the tap. If you would like to take Ryusendo Cave water with you, the bottled spring water is a popular souvenir among visitors.

One of the advantages of visiting Ryusendo Cave is the natural air-conditioning it provides. The cave is located far underground, which makes it a perfect escape from the sweltering Japanese summer heat. The temperature inside the cave doesn’t vary much year-round, making it quite comfortable even in the winter. So, regardless of the season, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable adventure in Ryusendo Cave.

After exploring the cave, there are other attractions near Ryusendo Cave that you can visit. Just across the street is Ryusen Shindo, a smaller cave that houses a small science museum. This museum provides information on cavern geology and displays about the area. It typically takes about an hour to explore both caves and learn more about the geological wonders of the region. Additionally, you can also visit the Kitayamazaki Coast or Jodogahama Beach, which are both stunning natural attractions in the vicinity. If you have more time, you can stay in Iwaizumi and climb Mt. Ureira, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

In conclusion, Ryusendo Cave is a natural treasure and a must-visit destination in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Its vast limestone cave system, with its vivid blue and emerald green underground lakes, offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience. The cave’s extraordinary rock formations, the rare bat sightings, and the pristine spring water all contribute to making Ryusendo Cave a remarkable place to explore. Whether you are seeking natural beauty, geological wonders, or a cool escape from the summer heat, Ryusendo Cave has it all. So, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this incredible destination and immerse yourself in its enchanting atmosphere.

Address And Maps Location:

1-1 Aza Kannari, Iwaizumi-cho, Shimohei-gun, Iwate-ken

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