Go spelunking in Fukushima
Fukushima, a prefecture in japan, is known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. One of the must-visit attractions in Fukushima is the Abukuma Cave, a vast limestone cave system located between the central hub of Koriyama and the seaside city of Iwaki. This cave system is not only one of the most extensive in Japan but also boasts some of the greatest stalactite and stalagmite formations in asia. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or simply a nature lover, a visit to Abukuma Cave is an unforgettable experience.
The discovery of Abukuma Cave dates back to 1969 when it was first explored. The cave stretches over 3,000 meters, with approximately 600 meters open to the public. As you explore the cave, you’ll be amazed by the well-lit and paved pathways that lead you through its intricate passageways. The formations inside the cave are truly awe-inspiring, with stalactites and stalagmites adorning the walls and ceilings. But what makes Abukuma Cave truly unique are the boxwork formations, which are rare in cave systems. These formations consist of thin blades of calcite that project from the walls and ceilings, creating a honeycomb or box-like pattern.
One of the highlights of Abukuma Cave is the “Christmas Tree,” the largest stalagmite in Asia. Standing tall and majestic, this stalagmite is a sight to behold. Its size and shape make it resemble a Christmas tree, hence the name. Another notable feature of the cave is the Takine Goten, also known as the cathedral. This large space is filled with numerous speleothems and is occasionally used for musical performances. The stage lighting in the cave creates an eerie and fantastic world, especially in areas like the Takine Goten and Tsuki no Sekai (Moon World), where the lighting shifts every few seconds, creating a bizarre and hallucinatory environment.
Abukuma Cave is not just a natural wonder; it is also surrounded by other attractions that add to the overall experience. After exploring the cave, you can indulge in local products made with spring water and enjoy a meal of soba or udon noodles. The Hoshinomura Observatory, located nearby, houses a planetarium and offers stunning views of the area. And if you visit during the right season, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking sight of lavender fields in full bloom. With over 50,000 lavender plants covering the hillside, the scenery is nothing short of magical. The lavender blooms from mid-June to early July, creating a vibrant and fragrant landscape.
For those seeking further adventure, the Irimizu Cave is just a short distance away from Abukuma Cave. This more rugged cave offers a different spelunking experience, with its own unique formations and atmosphere. Additionally, you can visit the protective deity of the town of Funehiki, which is said to provide blessings and ward off evil spirits. These nearby attractions provide a diverse range of experiences, making Fukushima a must-visit destination for spelunkers and nature enthusiasts alike.
To reach Abukuma Cave, the most convenient mode of transportation is by car. The cave is approximately 15 minutes from the Ono Exit off the Ban-Etsu Expressway when coming from Koriyama or Iwaki. There is ample free parking available for visitors. Alternatively, you can take a 5-minute taxi ride from Kanmata Station on the JR Ban-Etsu East Line. This scenic train route connects Koriyama and Iwaki, both of which are accessible from Tokyo. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, the journey to Abukuma Cave is sure to be filled with beautiful scenery and anticipation.
In conclusion, a visit to Abukuma Cave in Fukushima is a remarkable experience that combines adventure, natural beauty, and cultural exploration. The cave’s impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, along with its unique boxwork features, make it a must-see attraction in Asia. The well-lit and paved pathways inside the cave create a surreal atmosphere, showcasing the beauty of nature’s creations. Surrounding areas offer additional attractions, such as lavender fields and the Irimizu Cave, providing an opportunity for further exploration and adventure. Whether you’re a spelunker or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, a trip to Abukuma Cave is a journey you won’t soon forget. So why wait? Start planning your visit to Fukushima and embark on an extraordinary spelunking adventure in Abukuma Cave.
Address And Maps Location:
1 Higashi Aza Kamayama, Sugaya, Takine-machi, Tamura-shi, Fukushima-ken