Under the Akiyoshidai Plateau, there are countless caves known as "limestone caverns" formed by erosion of the limestone. Of those numerous caves, the largest is Akiyoshido Cave.
Akiyoshido Cave, the Orient's best large limestone cavern, opens on the south foot of Akiyoshidai Plateau. The cave entrance reaches a height of 24 meters and width of 8 meters. Inside, the cave reaches 100 meters in width at its broadest point and 80 meters in height at its highest ceiling point.
Its total length is said to be about ten kilometers. The ordinary sightseeing route, however, is about one kilometer long and includes 26 well-known sights, such as Koganebashira (Golden Pillar) and Hyakumaizara (Hundred Saucers).
Throughout the year, the temperature inside the cave is a constant 17°C. And since the tour route is equipped with accommodations such as walking trails and elevators, the cave can be explored comfortably and enjoyably.
As one would expect from a cave said to be the Orient's best in both size and scenic beauty, it is a mystical world in which large naturally sculpted works of beauty appear one after the other.
It was named Akiyoshido Cave by Emperor Hirohito, who explored its beauty during a visit in 1926. Then in 1952 it was designated a Special Natural Monument.
The fluid coloring of the stalactites and the faint echoing of water enable the visitor to sense how the limestone caverns have steadily continued to change, drop by drop, over time.
Akiyoshido Cave is the home to six types of cave bats, including miniopterus fuliginosus; and Shikoku-yokoebi (Shikoku freshwater amphipods) and other small animals that are 1-10 mm in size. A number of treasures only seen at Akiyoshidai Plateau have also been discovered.


●Time required to tour Akiyoshido: 40 minutes to 1 hour

Akiyoshido can be entered from three locations: Akiyoshido Visitor Center (Akiyoshido front entrance), Kurotani Visitor Center (Kurotani), and Akiyoshidai Visitor Center (elevator).
  • From the Akiyoshido front entrance to the Kurotani entrance, there is a difference in elevation of 40 meters. If you enter from the Akiyoshido front entrance, you will take the "ascending (up) route"; and if you enter from Kurotani, you will take the "descending (down) route." (Basically, the route runs to the cave's end and then turns back.)
  • If you enter Akiyoshido from the "elevator" that joins Akiyoshidai and Akiyoshido, you will descend to a point that is 700 meters from the Akiyoshido front entrance and 300 meters from the Kurotani entrance. If you take the elevator up from Akiyoshido, you can exit at Akiyoshidai. (It is a 5-minute walk to the Akiyoshidai karst observation deck.)
  • Due to the sloping surface at the Akiyoshido entrance, approximately one-third of Akiyoshido (from the Akiyoshido front entrance to the Expansive yard) can now be toured by wheelchair when a caregiver is assigned to the wheelchair.

Location Akiyoshi, Shuho-cho, Mine
Normal open hours 8:30~16:30
Closed Open 365 days/year
Transportation access Bus from JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station: 45 min.
Car from Mine IC: 15 min.
Car from Ogori IC: 30 min.
Car from Ube Airport: 1 hour
Point of contact Mine Municipal Tourism Department

●Akiyoshido admission fee (revised April 1, 2002)

Classification Adult High School Jr. High Elementary
Individual ¥1,200 ¥1,200 ¥950 ¥600
Group 20-99
¥1,000 ¥800 ¥700 ¥450
¥950 ¥700 ¥650 ¥350
200 or more
¥900 ¥650 ¥600 ¥300

●Extra hours/Entrance from Akiyoshido front entrance

  6:00 - 8:30 a.m. (need reservation, ¥50 extra per person)
  4:30 - 6:00 p.m. (need reservation, ¥50 extra per person)
  4:30 - 5:30 p.m. (¥100 extra per person)
  12/30~1/5, 3/1~11/30