倉沢鍾乳洞

Kurasawa shōnyūdō - Kurasawa Shonyudo


Useful Information

Location: West side of Shonoiwayama mountain, Okutama.
(35.854457, 139.072070)
Open: closed.
[2021]
Fee: closed.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: destroyed
Dimension: L=1,400 m, A=660 m asl.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Kurasawa Shonyudo, Tel: +81-, Fax: +81-,
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

1940s opened to the public.
1970s cave closed.

Description

倉沢鍾乳洞 (Kurasawa Cave) is well over one kilometer long and was once the longest show cave in Tokyo. Unfortunately it is located high up a mountain valley and to visit the cave it was necessary to walk an hour uphill. This made it rather unpopular and it was closed in the 1970s due to low visitation. Nevertheless the cave is actually quite interesting, having three levels with two underground lakes known as ひょうたん池 (Hyotan chi, Pumpkin Pond) and Crystal Pond. The cave was explored during the 1980 by the Pioneer Caving Club (PCC).

The cave was named after a small village nearby with the name Kurasawa, which is also abandoned now. All people living at this cave had the same surname Sakawa. This included the the original manager of the show cave, who died in 2005 at the age of 97. He was also the last inhabitant of the town.

The cave is reached on a forest road, then across a non-existent bridge, which was demolished many years ago. The entrance portal is quite impressive. The former development like trails and electric light are gone, and the administration, Ichiishiyama Shrine, discourages visits with big signs and closed gates. So if you find a reference for this show cave somewhere: its definitely gone and only for cavers with a valid permit.