Friday, 8 October 2010

Going akiyoshidai Caves

It was immediate plan going akiyoshidai Caves , waked up at 12 and leave home at 1 around from Onoda to destination. We borrowed car from the office and left to see the place , 5 of us. Ride car , travel from onoda to Mine city and then caves , took around 1 hr there. Parked our car there in parking at 400 Yen , and then had lunch there in restaurant.

Getting inside cost 1200 Yen per person.

" The cave system was named "Akiyoshido" by Crown Prince Showa during his visit in 1926. Before, it was (not so imaginatively) called Taki-ana or waterfall hole. Akiyoshi Cave took over 300,000 years to form and is still slowly being shaped by water flowing out of the karst plateau above. Only a small portion of the cave's estimated 420,000 cubic meters volume and 10 kilometer length is accessible to the public.

The main enterance to the cave is at the bottom of the plateau where the river of water following out from the cave exits. Walking through the tall and narrow entrance slit reveals a seemingly impossible sized space which is up to 100 meters wide. Portions are so wide and tall that it ceases to feel like you're in a cave. For that matter, the faux-wood fence on the concrete path and flood lights don't help either. It feels a bit like a cathedral.

It is not the most spectacularly beautiful cave in its lower sections for the most part. Colored flood lights are used to dress up what is really mostly only mottled brown rocks. Its sheer size more than makes up for this and midway through there are a number of interesting distinctive rock formations. The highest accessible area where the path leaves the underground river packs in a lot more interesting features. In all, about 1.5 km of cave tunnels can be trekked through.

The cave is a popular destination for tour buses and field trips. Since the cave is always 17C (62.6F) it really doesn't matter when you go or what the weather is like outside. A large number of elementary schools have trips to it. If you go during the week there should be no crowds of people. It is open year round and costs 1,200 yen per adult. There is a re-entry fee if you take the elevator up to see the krast landscape. Most signs only have English titles only."

First time saw NATRAJ Statue in japan , didn't expected at all.

After looking all around cave , we ride elevator and came on top , then walk back down to parking , it was nice journey with large slope and forest.

Ice-cream time

" The area's interesting geology has its roots in the Paleozoic Era (543 to 248 million years ago). Three hundred million years ago, the plateau was a large coral reef. Fossils from Fusuline, Coral, Brachiopod, Bryozoons and Calcaleous algae are abundant in Akiyoshi Plateau's limestone rock. Today, the plateau is well above sea level and is famous for its lush pampas grass landscape which is spotted with grey limestone boulders.

The area was once heavily forested about 500,000 years ago but as farming started in Japan the local people eventually entirely replaced the landscape with Japanese pampas grass for feeding their animals and thatching houses. Repeated cycles of burning the grass have kept the trees from growing back since.

How Krast Landscapes Form

This chaotic rolling hilly type of landscape is created over many thousands of years. Large deposits of water soluble rocks (usually limestone or dolomite) under the ground slowly dissolves when water carrying carbon dioxide (an acid) seeps into cracks. This action and the varying resistance of the rock to dissolving creates sinkholes, caves and other features. The word karst comes from Slovenian words kar (rocky) and hrast (oak).

The scenic highway route 32, Akiyoshidai Skyline, goes from the enterance to Akiyoshi cave in the south through the park to the north. Driving along this road is great way to take in the scenery and to see dramatic portions of the Karst landscape.

Near the south end of the plateau is a parking lot near a large viewing platform, museum and enterance to hiking trails which curve around the sinkholes and through the scenery. "

Walking top on hill after parking our car ...

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