(Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi)

It’s only a quick daytrip and you can escape into the natural wonder and beauty of the Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau and Akiyoshido limestone cave, two must-see attractions which form part of the Akiyoshidai Quasi National Park.

It takes less than two hours by car from MCAS Iwakuni to reach the vast plateau on Honshu’s west end. Here you’ll find fresh green hills and mountains dotted with a cluster of karst formations made of white limestone.

This is a fantastic scene is visible along the main road. The observation tower on the plateau’s west end offers a birds’-eye view over the plateau and hiking trails.

About 350 million years ago, the Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau was a coral reef submerged underwater. As the coral reef accumulated a layer of limestone, subsequent erosion lifted the ground above sea. Thousands of years of rain, temperature fluctuations and time have helped to form the current state of these beautiful topography.

The surrounding foliage also makes Akiyoshidai a stunning place no matter what season you visit.

Below the plateau—100 meters below to be exact—, is Japan’s largest and longest limestone cave at 100 meters wide and 11 kilometers long. Visitors can access a one-kilometer portion of the cave via an elevator near the Akiyoshidai Observation Tower. Escape the summer heat to this 17-degree Celsius limestone wonderland!

The cave has many otherworldly formations, terraces of limestone pools and underground waterfalls everyone in your group will enjoy exploring.

Akiyoshidai Quasi National Park (Akiyoshidai Plateau and Akiyoshido Limestone Cave)

Location: Akiyoshidai, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture (a 100-minute drive from MCAS Iwakuni)


Tel: 0837-62-0115 (Mine City Tourism Association)

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