Ryusen-do Cave in Sanriku is one of Japan's three greatest limestone caves. As the cave is lit up in various colors, tourists will be able to admire the beauty of stalactites well. In this article, we will introduce the attraction of the mysterious Ryusen-do Cave.
About Ryusen-do Cave
Ryusen-do Cave is a limestone cave located in Iwate Prefecture. It has been designated as a national natural treasure. The total length of the cave, as far as is known is 4,088 m, of which 700 m is open to the public. Exploration continues to this day and there is still much remaining to be investigated.
The temperature in the cave is around 10°C throughout the year. Better bring a cardigan with you as you may feel chilly inside the cave even in summer!
- Spot name：Ryusen-do Cave
- Street Address：1-1 Kannari, Iwaizumi, Iwaizumi Town, Shimohei District, Iwate Prefecture
- Access：Transfer to the JR bus at Morioka Station and get off at "Ryusen-do-mae"
Things to do in Ryusen-do Cave
The underground lake in Ryusen-do Cave boasts one of the world's best transparency. The color of the lake is clear blue and it is called "dragon blue". Eight underground lakes have been found in Ryusen-do Cave and tourists can visit three of them. In the cave there is also an observation deck where you can overlook the underground lakes. It is recommended to admire the underground lakes from various angles.
In the cave there is an open space where the formation of stalactites has spread. The space creates an atmosphere of like being on the moon. Therefore, it is called the Moon Palace. Tourists will have a fantastic experience in the moon palace which is illuminated by LED lighting. The moon palace has a pile of rocks, and there is a place where you can see heart-shaped stalactites. It is a popular spot for couples.
There are five types of bats in the cave. Bats are nocturnal and thus hard to see during daytime. However, you might find bats hibernating somewhere when looking from the tourist passage in winter.
Monument at Sacred Place for Lovers
Since there are heart-shaped stalactites in the cave, Ryusen-do Cave is recognized as a sacred place for lovers. With this recognition, a monument was also created with a design of two dragons’ heads forming the shape of a heart. It is a popular photogenic spot.
- Going from Tokyo: take the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station heading for Morioka Station. Transfer to the JR bus at Morioka Station and get off at "Ryusen-do-mae".
- Going from Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka: go to Iwate Hanamaki Airport by plane and take a bus heading for Morioka Station. Transfer to the JR bus at Morioka Station and get off at "Ryusen-do-mae".