Webmaster visited Nippara Limestone Cave (Nippara-shonyudo) last week.
Admission: ￥700 for adult. Open every day except on year-end holidays.
The length of the cave is 1,270m among which 800m is open to visitors.
Access: Tokyo (local train 1:50) Okutama (bus 0:25) Higashi-nippara (bus 0:05 or walk 0:20) Nippara-shonyudo (walk 0:05) @ (The last stop of the bus route is Nippara-shonyudo, but the bus terminates at Higashi-nippara on week end.)
Although Okutama Town belongs to Tokyo Prefecture, here is quite far from urban noise and mess.
Many hikers visit Okutama as is a starting point of hiking.
The building of Okutama Station
The bus to the cave departs from Bus Stop No.1 in front of the station. The destination “Limestone cave” is indicated also in English.
Taking a bus along Nippara River for about 30 minutes
It was Saturday when Webmaster visited. Therefore, the bus terminated at Higashi-nippara (East Nippara) Bus Stop. Nippara is a mountain village.
Then, Webmaster walked along a paved road along with Nippara River with mountainous view.
After enjoying a short walk for 25 minutes, Nippara Cave appeared.
The entrance tunnel and the map of the cave
There are two caves inside, namely New Cave and Old Cave. New Cave is branched at the middle of Old Cave.
In Old Cave
The depth of Old Cave
Old cave has a horizontal structure. On the other hand, New Cave has rather vertical structure which requires visitors to go up staircases. There are 174 steps (I counted them) to the top part of the cave. Some parts are very narrow.
Some natural creatures of limestone in New Cave
Following the same tunnel, Webmaster returned to the exit/entrance. If you walk quickly, it needs only 20 or 30 minutes for going around the cave. However, Webmaster stayed in the cave for two hours enjoying the extraordinary circumstances.
Besides limestone cave, you can enjoy hiking, fishing and onsen in Okutama. Okutama is one of nice destinations for outdoor lovers.