Ryusendo Cave is one of the Three Great Limestone Caves of Japan; the cave and its bats are designated as national natural monuments. The portion of the cave which has been explored stretches over 3,500 meters, 700 meters of which is open to the public. If one were to include the unexplored areas of the cave it is estimated to be over 5,000 meters in length. In the cave, fresh spring water forms deep underground lakes. The most impressive are the third lake, with a depth of 98 meters, and the fourth lake (closed to the public), which is the deepest in Japan at 120 meters; they are some of the most transparent lakes in the world. With the beautiful deep blue water of the lakes, often referred to as “Dragon Blue,” and stalactites that are like works of art, Ryusendo Cave is a world of mystery created by nature. Before entering the cave, you can drink the cave water from a spring. They also sell it in bottles at the shop!
There are five species of bats that dwell in Ryusendo Cave. In 1938, the bats, along with the Ryusendo Cave, were designated as national natural monuments; hence, they may not be caught without permission. If you find a bat, view it from a distance without getting too close. (We didn’t see any). In the bat cave live numerous bats, especially the Little Japanese Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus cornutus). At sunset, they fly out of the cave in swarms and head for nearby forests and streams, where they catch and eat hordes of insects, and return to the cave by sunrise. The bat cave is a special protected area where bats, which dislike light or human presence, can live in peace.
Hours: Open every day 0830-1700 (*May-Sep- Open until 1800)
Admission: Adults 7 - ¥1000
children - ¥500 (6-15)
1. Take the Tohoku Expressway from Misawa to North Hachinohe (¥350 toll, one way). Exit Hachinohe-Kita I.C.
2. Continue on Rte. 45 until you come to a T-intersection with Sega World in front of you.
3. Proceed about 49.1 km and turn left at the intersection where there is a Circle K to your right. (Kuji)
4. Proceed about 31.7 km from there, and turn right to stay on Rte. 45 (Fudai)
5. Stay on this road about 9.9 km; turn right onto Rte. 173 and continue about 2.7km.
6. Turn left to stay on Rte. 173, and continue about 10.6km.
7. Turn left onto Rte. 7, and continue about 1.3km. Ryusendo Caves will be on the right.