Japan has no shortage of scenic mountains, but if you’re looking for a change of pace, why not head deep inside the earth instead? Akiyoshido Cave is located near Mine City, and is one of the most dramatic limestone caves in the country.
The cave totals around 10km in length, but you’d be mad to go that deep. The first kilometer is open to visitors, and this stretch alone gives a sense of the vastness of this subterranean world. The walkway to the entrance disappears into a vast cleft in the rock face which stretches up 24m high.
Beyond it you’ll find huge caverns up to 80m high, with terraced rock pools, stalactites hanging from the ceilings, and azure underground streams leading to waterfalls. If you want little more taste of adventure than the standard walkway can offer, a separate path is available for a small extra fee, which climbs higher up and can be a little tough to traverse.
There are actually three different access points to the caves, the Kurotani Entrance, Akiyoshido Entrance (nearest the bus stop), and by using an elevator. Buses run between the entrances, so once you come out on the other side you can ride back in comfort.