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Enjoy exploring! 5 Caves for Day Tours from Osaka

Japan is a country that is home to many caverns and caves that are considered miracles created by the vast nature. Here are five recommended spots in Western Japan area that are quite near that they can be visited on a day’s trip from Osaka.

1. Menfudo-Shonyudo Limestone Cave (Nara)

The first spot on this list is a cave that has been designated as a natural monument of Nara Prefecture. Found underground on a plateau, Menfudo-Shonyudo Limestone Cave is the largest cave in the Kansai region with a total length spanning about 150m. There is no wind inside this dome-shaped cavern, so its temperature averages 8 degrees all year round. There are stalactites, stalagmites and various other objects inside, but what is especially famous here are the so-called soda straws that are found in the areas called “kinshi no iwaya” (gold cave) and “ginshi no iwaya” (silver cave). These straws are hollow in the middle and are considered real treasures in Japan.

Tour rates: 400 JPY (incl. tax) for adults and 200 JPY (incl. tax) for children

1. Menfudo-Shonyudo Limestone Cave (Nara)

673-89 Dorogawa, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara

2. Goyomatsu Shonyudo Limestone Cave (Nara)

This has also been designated as a natural monument of Nara Prefecture. Found deep in the ground and spreading over a span of more than 200m, the Goyomatsu Shonyudo Limestone Cave is a place where there are expressive natural works of art that emerge from the pale light that is cast inside the cave. Here, there are stalactites as small as 20-30cm and as big as 3-4m. Further, the “koganebashira,” the biggest underwater stone pillar in this cave, is 8m tall! You will surely be awed by this spectacular sight.

Tour rates: 400 JPY (incl. tax) for adults and 200 JPY (incl. tax) for children

2. Goyomatsu Shonyudo Limestone Cave (Nara)

Dorogawa, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara

3. Kawachi Wind Cave (Shiga)

The Kawachi Wind Cave is a spot that is listed as a natural monument of Shiga Prefecture. This is a cavern made from limestone that was formed around 550,000 years ago. While its entrance is just 1m high, the inside of this cave is huge with a total area of about 1,544 sq.m. and a total wind hole length of 10,020m. This cave is inhabited by a wide array of valuable creatures.
The temperature inside this cave stands at 12 - 13 degrees all throughout the year, so summer is cool and winter is warm here. Visitors can tour the first and second floors of this cave, going as far as 200m from the entrance. Walking on the rugged and rocky path while holding on the handrail will surely give you a thrill like no other!

Tour rates: 500 JPY (incl. tax) for adults and 300 JPY (incl. tax) for children (from 5 years old to elementary school children)

3. Kawachi Wind Cave (Shiga)

Kawachimiyamae, Taga-cho, Inukami-gun, Shiga

4. Sandanbeki Cave (Wakayama)

Sandanbeki Cave is a famous spot in Wakayama. There is a cavern inside a 60m-tall massive wall of rocks rising from the sea, and legend has it that a powerful naval ship hid there during the Heian period (794 – 1185).
Along the approximately 200m path inside this cave, there are many dynamic and mysterious spots that were created by nature, including wayside shrines venerating different deities! Here, you can see the raised bedrock that was created when the sand and mud at the bottom of the water were moved by the waves and tides, and then accumulated on the earth’s surface, as well as the tide-spouting rocks that spew seawater from the gaps in the rocks, among other precious sights.

Tour rates: 1,300 JPY (incl. tax) for adults (middle school students and older), 650 JPY (incl. tax) for children (elementary school students), and free for children younger than elementary school students

4. Sandanbeki Cave (Wakayama)

2927-52 Shirahama-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama

5. Shizushi Limestone Cave (Kyoto)

This cave is registered as a natural monument of Kyoto. Measuring 52.5m in length and having an altitude difference of 25.1m, this cave is made up of four sections. It is characterized by its big height difference and its meandering structure inside, so visitors can move around using the steep stairs that are said to be virtually set at a right angle against the ground. The temperature inside the cave stands at an average of 12 to 15 degrees the entire year. This spot is particularly popular as a nature cruise spot in the height of summer.
The area surrounding this cave has been turned into a park, featuring a campsite and bungalows. Here, guests can go camping, fishing and hiking, among other fun activities.

Tour rates: 520 JPY (incl. tax) for adults and 300 JPY (incl. tax) for children aged 3 years old up to middle school students

5. Shizushi Limestone Cave (Kyoto)

12-1 Okuzure, Shizushi, Kyotamba-cho, Kyoto

Caves and caverns are places where people tend to romanticize ancient times. So, check out these spots to get an actual feel of their mystique and artistic beauty!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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