VIDEO: Nippara Limestone Caves near Yokota AB, Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO: Nippara Limestone Caves near Yokota AB, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Soon the rainy season of tsuyu will kick in across the mainland, so you’ll want to seek dry shelter at a cool place.

Nippara Shonyudo, or Nippara Limestone Caves, are a great place to beat the heat in Western Tokyo in Okutama.

This getaway is a 75-minute drive from Yokota Air Base and offers a great escape from the humidity and heat inside a cave with a temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit.

This cave was once used as a sacred Buddhist site for meditation and training, so the rock formations and halls have names with Buddhist origins. You’ll find the Hakuikannon (Bodhisattva in white dress), Jigokudani (valley of the hell) and Amidanohara (the field of Amitabha) as you explore this brightly-lit cave.

If you plan on driving to the cave, be prepared as the narrow road does tend to get easily congested, especially weekends through summertime. Due to this, the best time to visit, according to a cave spokesperson, 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. (Apr. 1 - Nov. 30) , 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Dec 1 - Mar. 1)
Admission: 800 yen for adults; 600 yen for middle school students; 500 yen for elementary students.
Website (Japanese)
Tel: 0428-83-8491

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