Japan’s Nippara Limestone Cave near Yokota AB reopens

Although the Nippara Limestone Caves are scarce on delicate and intricate formations, taking a few breaks to enjoy the breathtaking view of the ancient stalactites and stalagmites is an enjoyable experience. (ALLEN ONSTOTT/STARS AND STRIPES)
Although the Nippara Limestone Caves are scarce on delicate and intricate formations, taking a few breaks to enjoy the breathtaking view of the ancient stalactites and stalagmites is an enjoyable experience. (ALLEN ONSTOTT/STARS AND STRIPES)

Japan’s Nippara Limestone Cave near Yokota AB reopens

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Head to the largest limestone cave in the Kanto Plain for some hiking and cool relief from the humidity near Okutama.

Nippara Shonyudo, also known as the Nippara Shonyudo Limestone Cave, is a 75-minute drive from Yokota Air Base.

It closed in 2019 after the Nippara Highway leading up to it was damaged by Super Typhoon Hagibis. The road is now repaired, and after some repairs to the lighting system inside the cave, it reopened for visitors July 9.

With a depth of about a half mile, this beautiful limestone cave is considered a perfect getaway for a hot and humid summer day, as its average temperature inside is around 52-degree Fahrenheit throughout the year.

If you plan on driving to the cave, be prepared as the one-way road does tend to get easily congested. Due to this, the best time to visit, according to a cave spokeperson, is during the week.

Grab a light sweater, walking shoes and cool off at this geological wonder!

Nippara shonyudo (Limestone Cave)


Location: 1052 Nippara, Okutama Town, Nishikitama-gun, Tokyo (a 75-minute drive from Yokota AB)
(Parking lot is available for 700 vehicles)
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. M-S
Admission: 800 yen for adults; 600 yen for middle school students; 500 yen for elementary students.
Tel: 0428-83-8491

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