Maekawa Tamagusuku Village, Tamagusuku-mura, Okinawa.
Near Naha on the southern end of Okinawa.
Take the 331 scenic road along the coast or the freeway 47 across the island. The cave is signposted, for international tourist: the signposts contain the word "cave".
Okinawan Expressway south toward Naha. At splits, exit left toward Itoman to the tollbooth. South on the expressway extension to a stoplight at the end. Straight and then left onto Highway 48. At blue sign "CAVE" above the road turn right onto Highway 17. The village is on the left after 3km.
From Naha bus terminal take bus 54 or 83, 45min.
|Open:||APR to OCT daily 9-17:30, NOV to MAR daily 9-17. |
Kingdom Village: Adults ¥ 600, Children ¥ 300.
Gyokusendo + Kingdom Village: Adults ¥ 1,200, Children ¥ 600.
Habu Park: Adults ¥ 600, Children ¥ 300.
Full park pass: Adults ¥ 1,600, Children ¥ 800.
Doki Doki Makuratanken: Adults ¥ 3,000, high school students ¥ 3,000, middle school students ¥ 2,000, elementary school students ¥ 2,000.
|Bibliography:||Gyokusendo-cave, Okinawa, A Pictorial Guide, 22pp|
|Address:||Gyokusendo Okoku Mura (Limestone cave park), 1336 Aza Maekawa, Tamagusuku-son, Tel: +81-98-949-7421, Fax: +81-89-949-7100|
|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.
Gyokusen-do is the second longest limestone cave in Japan. It is located in a cultural theme park with a villa and some huts, which is called Gyokusendo Kingdom Villa. In this park many Okinawan crafts and arts are shown, like glass blowing, pottery and textile dyeing. The cave can only be visited together with the park, which is not really a drawback.
A newest highlight of the cave are events called Doki Doki Makuratanken ("Scary Adventure"). They are intended for elementary, middle school, and high school students, and are some kind of cave trekking event. The entrance fee includes a full pass to the park, an eisa show (an Okinawa traditional style dance), exploring the cave in the dark using flashlights, and an outdoor barbeque.
The cave is famous for its wealth of speleothems. They say there are 900,000 stalactites, stalagmites and pillars. We guess who counted this. Extraordinary formations are Bell of the Rising Dragon, a stalagmite located in Asia's Grand Hall. Another stalagmite, the Golden Cup, is 31 meters in girth, but only 2.5m high. The Fountain of Happiness is an impressive rimstone pool. Being more than 5km long Gyokusendo is the longest stalactite cave on Okinawa, and the second longest in Japan.