白滝鍾乳洞

Shirataki shonyudo - Shirataki Limestone Cave - Shirataki Park Limestone Cave


Useful Information

Location: Itsuki Village.
The Kozuru tunnel on the prefectural road No. 25.
(32.444397, 130.778355)
Open: All year daily 9-17.
[2022]
Fee: Light 20 minutes JPY 100.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=30 m.
Guided tours: self guided, L=30 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Shirataki Shonyudo, 1532-1 Otsu, Itsuki, Kuma District, Kumamoto 868-0202, Tel: +81-966-37-2211.
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

1985 cave spring examined, production measured.

Description

白滝鍾乳洞 (Shirataki shōnyūdō, Shirataki Limestone Cave) is also known as limestone cave in Shirataki Park. The small park along the river near Itsuki village has a shinto shrine and a limestone cave. There is a trail leading to the cave entrance and an elevated trail and staircases inside. The cave is a river cave and resurgence, the water flows below the iron grating and out of the cave entrance. The entrance is located at the foot of a spectacular 70 m high and 200 m wide limestone cliff. The spring existed for a long time but was blocked with boulders. Inhabitants of nearby Itsuki Village thought there could be a cave behind and removed the blocks. The discovery is only 30 m long, so it was probably a little disappointing.

The park is open daily and there is no personnel at the park. There are no guided tours and the cave is not gated, so the cave is actually accessible all time without restrictions. The electric light is activated by inserting 100 yen into a coin timer for 20 minutes. The box is a little rusty, so it may not open at the first try. And make sure you have a coin. But we guess the site is closed overnight, probably gated.

300 Ma old limestones are distributed in strata in the southern Chichibu belt. Other well known caves in this limestone karst are Kyusen-do and Konose limestone cave. About 20 caves are known in the small limestone karst around Itsuki. The spring was examined in 1985 and the production measured to be 8.9 million liters per day. But as a karst spring the production is variable, after heavy rains it increases very fast. A few years ago it raised so much that the trails were damaged.

The name Shirataki is well known, but not for the cave, there is also a noodle soup of the same name. Every year in mid August there is a festival in the park which is dedicated to the noodles. Its called 白滝納涼祭り (Shirataki Noodles Festival).