Temiya Cave

Useful Information

Location: In Otaru.
Open: MAY to OCT Mon, Wed-Sun, Hol 9:30-17.
Fee: Adults JPY 100, Students JPY 70, Seniors JPY 70, Locals JPY 70, High School Pupils JPY 50, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free.
Groups: 20% discount.
Guided tours:
Address: Temiya cave preservation hall, 1-3-4 Temiya, Otaru-shi, Tel: +81-134-24-1092.
Otaru Museum Main Building, 〒 047-0041 1-3-6, Temiya, Otaru-shi, Tel: +81-134-33-2523, Fax: +81-134-33-2678 E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1866 first cave engraving accidentially discovered.
03-MAR-1926 designated a National Historic Place.
1949 cave covered by building to protect the engravings.
1986 begin of preservation work by the Otaru Museum.
1989 excavation conducted.
1995 Temiya Cavern Preservation Center opened to the public.


Temiya Cave is only a small remains of a cave, which is of great archaeological interest. It contains cave carvings and Inkoku paintings from the Zoku-Joumon period of Ainu history, about 400 AD.

The cave was discovered in 1866 by a soldier of the Imperial Guard. He was constructing a herring watch box and was looking for rocks he could use. He discovered an outcrop of tufa, but was astonished by various patterns engraved into the stone walls. The cave was explored by the the British geologist John Milne and the Bureau of Development. In 1926 its value was finally accepted and the place protected. The current state is that the cave is closed and covered by a building, which also houses a museum about the cave and presents some of the engravings and background information. The Temiya Cavern Preservation Center is operated by the Otaru Museum.