Tojocho Taishakumido, Shobara, Hiroshima 729-5244.
In Taishaku Gorge, from the parking lot walk along Taishu River about 350 m on the left side.
MAR to mid-JUL Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun 9-17.
Mid-JUL to AUG daily 9-17.
SEP to 10-DEC Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun 9-17.
Adults JPY 250, Children (15-17) JPY 200, Children (6-14) JPY 150, Children (0-5) free.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided, L=400 m, D=15 min.|
|Address:||Hakuun Cave (Shirakumo Cave), 1932-1 Taishakumido, Tojo-cho, Shobara, Hiroshima 729-5244, Tel: +81-8477-6-0062|
|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.
白雲洞 is actually transcribed into three different names, although there is only one Japanese name. There are Hakuundo or Hakuun Cave, also Shirakumo Cave, and finally Baiyun-dong or Baiyun Cave. As far as we understood the transcriptions were intended to reproduce the sound of the words. This three transcriptions sound completely different, so we have no idea which of them is real. As far as we know the name is spoken Hakuundo in Japanese and Baiyun-dong in Chinese, as the characters are actually Chinese characters. Lately the term Shirakumo Cave seems to be the one used more frequently by official publications. We have no idea why there are so many so different transcriptions and would be happy to publish the explanation. Please contact us if you know more about this.
The cave is a narrow, gorge-like passage with some speleothems. The trail leads in for about 200 m, then you have to return to the entrance. At the entrance it is extremely narrow, but the passage widens abd becomes up to 5 m wide and 20 m high. The most interesting thing of this cave are not the speleothems, this is a now dry river cave with different and rather spectacular erosional forms. There are scallops on the walls and dolly tubs on the floor, some of them quite spectacular. Unfortunately the signs by the operator concentrate on naming the stalactites.
Quite funny is a sign at the entrance, which tells "No Denger - Good Floor - Good Ventilation". It seems there are some Japanese visitors who fear a lack of air inside the cave. We actually know this irrational fear only from India. But we like how they spell "danger".
There are some groups of the thin type of stalagmites, which are called (Chikufu iwa) which translates Growing Bamboo Stone. They look like bamboo and even have about the same diameter.
The cave is located at the upper end of 帝釈峡 (Taishaku Gorge), an 18 km long valley in the center of the Chugoku Mountains. The whole valley is full of karst features, caves and natural bridges. Both are generally visited together, there is only one large parking lot for both, as they are quite popular.