小堀谷鍾乳洞

Koboriya shonyudo - Koboriya Limestone Cave - Kohoriya Limestone Cave - Aoya Limestone Cave


Useful Information

Location: 2520 Aoya, Tenryū Ward, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-3425.
6.8 km from the Shin-Tomei Expressway "Hamamatsu SA Smart IC".
(34.872600, 137.780870)
Open: no restrictions.
[2022]
Fee: free.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=62 m.
Guided tours: self guided, L=50m, D=10 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:  
Address: 小堀谷鍾乳洞(青谷鍾乳洞), Koboriya Limestone Cave, 2520 Aoya, Tenryū Ward, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka 431-3425, Tel: +81-539220033.
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.

History

23-JUL-1979 exploratory excavation, few archaeological remains found.

Description

小堀谷鍾乳洞 (Kobori Valley Limestone Cave) is also called 青谷鍾乳洞 (Aoya Limestone Cave). Sometimes it is transliterated Kohoriya Limestone Cave. Quite funny was a translation on Google Maps saying Caverna Aoya Shyonyudo, obviously a little mad, that AI. The small cave is developed with trails and electric light, but there are no guided tours. It is freely accessible without restrictions. There is a light switch at the entrance and a sign which says "turn on the light when you enter the cave and turn it off when you return". Please turn off the light when you go, otherwise this fine arrangement could be ended due to high costs for electricity. If you have problems with the switch snapping back, try holding it for a few seconds. We also recommend bringing a torch, in case the light is turned off by another visitor. The infrastructure is great, even more for a free attraction, as there are benches and tables and pavilions for a picknick and even a toilet.

When you follow the single lane but paved road from highway 9 and Atago river valley you finally reach the hamlet Aoya. On the right is a small parking lot and signs for the cave. The cave entrance is only 20 m from the parking lot. The short cave is a through cave and there is another entrance at the far end. You can exit up a staircase and return through the forest. The cave is mostly level and so it is partly wheelchair accessible, except for the staircase at the exit, of course. There are signs in the cave and at the staircase as the trail through the forest is currently blocked by a rockfall [2021].

The road from the highway is quite picturesque, and due to its curves quite popular among bikers. We guess that's the reason why it is sometimes closed, or probably there are works on a gutter as we read on one page. In this case you have to drive down the valley for a kilometer to the tiny road to Aoya Fudo Waterfall. The waterfall is also a popular sight. Both roads are definitely not for the faint hearted driver, as they are very narrow, despite being paved If both possibilities fail, or if you prefer a bigger roadm, follow the river down valley turn right to cross the ridge to the next valley and right again on highway 296. The first turnoff to the right is for Aoya hamlet. You see, getting there is at least half of the fun.

One day a farmer entered this cave and prayed to the stalactite that looked like a god statue, "Please heal the cancer on my face". The next morning, the cancer on his face fell off and the skin healed. Neighbors who heard this story began to pray in the cave, and in the following month, it was transmitted to people far away. Finally, 1000 worshipers visited this cave a day.
According to a diary written by Hamamatsu Uchiyama, a national scholar from Oya-mura, Toyota-gun, Totomi (currently Oya, Tenryu-ku) in the late Edo period.

And there is a bit of trivia too: the cave was used as a filming location for the Japanese 2017 TV series Naotora: The Lady of the Castle. This is actually a popular Japanese legend with some historic background, which was used for the series. It tells the story of a woman who is the last of her family, as her father and husband made a rebellion and were forced to commit Seppuku. So she became a female lord. The part of the cave seems to be rather unimportant, at the beginning of the first episode it is where she hides as a child.