Akiyoshidai karst tableland [秋吉台]

Akiyoshidai
Akiyoshidai
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Akiyoshidai in autumn
Akiyoshidai in autumn
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Map of Akiyoshidai

Akiyoshidai is a karst tableland, and is located about 25 km west-northwest of Yamaguchi city.

It is located at the level of 180 to 420 meters, and the area is about 16 km from northeast to southwest in length and about 6 km in width.
The total area is about 93 square kilometers, and is the largest karst tableland in Japan.

We can see the undulating karst landscape dimpled with many dolines and countless limestone pinnacles up to 2 meters in height.

There are more than 400 caves under the ground.

The limestones were formed from the coral reef about 350 million years ago.

By plate movements, they were dragged in the ground.
But in the process, a part of them were pushed up to the surface of earth around 230 million years ago.

Then the karst tableland has been formed for several million years.

Rocks in Akiyoshidai
Rocks in Akiyoshidai
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Akiyoshidai in autumn
Akiyoshidai in autumn
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

The entrance for visitors is at the south end of the area.

There are the bus stop, the parking lots, souvenir shops.
And there is the main entrance to Akiyoshido cave.

The main observatory for Akiyoshidai is located about 1.5 km north of the entrance.

We can reach there on foot from Akiyoshido or by "Karst Taxi".
Karst Taxi is a microbus connecting the observatory and the entrances of Akiyoshido, and it makea five round trips a day.

Akiyoshidai

Akiyoshido cave (秋芳洞)

Entrance of Akiyoshido
Entrance of Akiyoshido
Photo by Railstation.net

Kasa-zukushi (Many umbrellas) in Akiyoshido
Kasa-zukushi (Many umbrellas) in Akiyoshido
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Akiyoshido is a cave under Akiyoshidai.
It is one of the largest limestone caves in Japan.

The total length is about 8.8 km, and a course about 1 km long is opened to the public.
It is designated as a special national natural treasure.

In the cave, we can see the various large and colorful stalactites.

The original name of this cave was "Taki-ana" meaning "cave of falls".
Because the cave has some falls, so the name was very simply but was not smart.

In 1926, Emperor Showa visit this cave, when he was the Crown Prince.
After his visit, he named "Akiyoshido" as the fitting name because it is in Akiyoshidai.

But he gave the different kanji character at the part of "yoshi".
The character has the meaning of "fragrant".

In addition, because the kanji characters are able to be read in different pronunciation in Japanese, some read Akiyoshido as Shûhôdo.

Kurage-no-taki (Falls of Jellyfish) in Akiyoshido
Kurage-no-taki (Falls of Jellyfish) in Akiyoshido
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

Hyakumai-zara (Hundreds of plates) in Akiyoshido
Hyakumai-zara (Hundreds of plates) in Akiyoshido
Photo: Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation

There are three entrances to this cave.

The main entrance is near the bus stop, and Kurotani entrance is at the north end of this cave.
And at the middle of the cave, there is the entrance to the observatory for Akiyoshidai.

How to get here

By route bus, about 40 minutes from Shin-Yamaguchi station of San-yo Shinkansen.
About an hour from JR Yamaguchi station.

Hotels around Akiyoshidai

Hotels around Akiyoshidai

Other Tourist Attractions in Yamaguchi Prefecture

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