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The bat show is a must-see event! The “Ryugashido Cavern” in Hamamatsu is one of the largest limestone caves in the Tokai region

The Ryugashido Cavern is one of the largest limestone caves in the Tokai region. This limestone cave, which is more than 1 km long and was formed in a limestone area over 250 million years ago, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Hamamatsu City and all of Shizuoka Prefecture.

Only about 400 meters of the cave is open to the public for sightseeing, but this 400 meter offers a series of highlights. Both adults and children will be impressed by this limestone cave, which is like a work of art.

The cave was opened in 1983 (the same year that Tokyo Disneyland opened!), and it continues to evolve to this day. Let’s head on down to the ever-evolving mysterious caving resort!

The temperature inside the cave is 18℃! It’s remarkable in summer and warm in winter! The all-weather facility that you can enjoy even when it’s raining

The Shin-Tomei Expressway is convenient for accessing the Ryugashido Cavern, which is located in Hamamatsu City. From Hamamatsu-Inasa JCT, it takes about 10 minutes by car. If you are coming via the Tomei Expressway, get off at Hamamatsu-nishi IC if you are driving from the Tokyo area, or at Mikkabi IC if you are moving from the Nagoya area, and from there it will take about 30 minutes by car from either direction. (It is also accessible by bus from JR Hamamatsu Station and Kanasashi Station on the Tenryu Hamanako Line.

Information desk
Pets are not allowed inside, so please board them up in the pet house

Buy your admission ticket and let’s go!

The dragon’s eyes glow red every half hour, and mist blows out from its mouth.

Once you pass through the tunnel-shaped gate where a dragon greets you, you will enter a world of 40,000 negative ions/㎤ (cubic centimeters). The amount of negative ions in public spaces is around 100-200/㎤, so that means there are 200 times as many here! What an amazing power spot.

We visited on a day when the temperature was over 30℃, but it felt like a natural air conditioner inside the cave! It was very cool and comfortable

The temperature inside the cave is about 18℃ throughout the year. The chilly cave has an image of being a perfect retreat during the hot summer, but it is an all-weather facility that is warm in winter and can be enjoyed even when it’s raining.

A rare bat show that can only be experienced in Japan at the Ryugashido Cavern is held twice a day!

Now let’s get to exploring the cave! But wait! Just after passing through the entrance tunnel, there is a glass-walled corner.

A fruit bat enjoying a meal while holding onto the staff’s hand

More than 20 fruit bats were kept inside. The bats, which originally were from Indonesia, came to the Ryugashido Cavern in 1994 (the importation of these bats is now restricted).

Bats are very timid creatures. It took a whopping 24 years for them to get used to the staff who take care of them every day, and after 24 years, the “Bat Petting and Feeding Show” was started.

Twice a day at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., a staff member holding pieces of fruit walks in and you can watch the bats gather together and feed directly from the hand of the staff member.

The fruits fed to the bats include apples, pineapples, bananas, etc.

This type of bat show is extremely rare, and we were told that the Ryugashido Cavern may be the only place in Japan where such a show is held. After hearing that it took 24 years for them to get used to the staff members, this wasn’t much of a surprise. During the show, the staff members draw you in with interesting stories about the bats.

There are plenty of sights to see inside the cave!

The limestone cave is truly a beauty of nature’s formations. Formed from limestone from over 250 million years ago… The mysterious shapes, created over an incredibly long period of time, are delightfully presented as gods and other familiar objects.

What do they look like they are doing?
It indeed looks like three figures sitting around a fireplace!

There are several sights to see inside the cave, and visitors will surely be impressed by its delicacy and overwhelming scale. One way to enjoy exploring the cave is to proceed while thinking, “What do these parts resemble?”

Maria Kannon is illuminated by a rainbow every few seconds
A jellyfish appearing from the depths of the earth!?
Enchanted by the mysterious shapes and beautiful textures

There are still many sights left to see! There are plenty of things that we couldn’t introduce here today, so we hope you’ll visit and enjoy them with your own eyes!

Also, apart from the fruit bats that are kept here, there are still many little Japanese horseshoe bats still living in the cave that enter and exit through small side holes. But rest assured! The bats only appear after the cave closes, and not during regular business hours. When you hear something like that, doesn’t it make the bats seem a bit cute, even though you may have thought of them as scary creatures?

Capture beautiful photos at the mystical underground waterfalls!

The staff is constantly improving the display methods, and recently they are changing the lighting to blue. One of the main attractions is the underground waterfall, where you can capture photos of the mystical “blue waterfall”. The photos are sure to be a hit on social media!

The water from the waterfall flows into the “Yokita Cave” (ようきた洞) outside the cave

Unfortunately, during busy times, photography may be restricted. Please follow the instructions provided by the staff members.

Ryugashido Cavern Museum

After around 30 minutes of exploring the cave, we finally arrived at the exit.

Enjoy the three-dimensional and easy-to-understand exhibits

At the end of the mouth of the cave is the Ryugashido Cavern Museum, Japan’s first cave-themed museum. The existence of a limestone cave on Mt. Ryugashi had been known for a long time, but the first academic survey was conducted in 1978. In response, Sadao Toda, the owner of the land, and two cave explorers proceeded with expansion work by hand and discovered a limestone cave about two years later. Since then, they have continued to dig (and the excavations are still ongoing to this day).

It’s often overlooked, but there’s a stuffed bat overhead at the exit! The stuffed mole, which is said to have been brought by a crow, is also a noteworthy sight.

There is a stuffed bat overhead!
A mole said to have been brought by a crow

The fully-stocked souvenir shop

Once you’ve satisfied your thirst for knowledge, now on to your materialistic desires! There are two souvenir shops, the “exit shop” directly connected to the exit and the Hakkakudo Shop located about 10 meters outside the exit, which offers everything from standard souvenirs to special stylish items.

Hakkakudo Shop. On the second floor is the “Ryugashido Shokudo Furusato” where you can enjoy a meal

Many original goods, such as fugashi (candy made from wheat gluten) made to look like a stone with icicles and comic books about the history of the development of the Ryugashido Cavern, etc. are available at the exit shop, and local Hamamatsu sweets and special limited-edition juices blended from Satsuma mandarin oranges, dekopon oranges, Ponkan mandarin oranges and Harumi mandarin oranges are available at the Hakkakudo Shop.

When we asked the staff what the most popular item was, they said it was the natural power stones. They come in a variety of types and sizes, but they’re much more affordable than those on sale to the general public!

The natural power stones are the most popular items in the store

The “Inasa Ryugashido Aged Tea”, which is made by aging fresh tea leaves harvested in May for about 100 days, is also sold in the fall.

The Inasa Ryugashido Aged Tea that has been aged inside the cave is also available for purchase

Capture memorable photos at the face cutout stand and “#HamanakoBlue” blue gelato

After seeing the bat show, exploring the cave, and stopping at the souvenir shop, we still have many recommendations for when visiting the Ryugashido Cavern! The next recommendation is the “best face cutout stand in Japan”. This face cutout stand at the Ryugashido Cavern has won various face cutouts awards. The helmet part is three-dimensional and fits perfectly to your forehead when placing your face inside it. The man in the model is actually Sadao Toda, the developer of the Ryugashido Cavern. While you’re here, why not take a commemorative photo with the face cutout sign?

Create a whirlwind of laughter!
We asked a pair of siblings who were visiting on a family trip to try it out! They look fantastic!

Now let’s move on to take some more stylish photos, which in a sense, is the complete opposite of the photos taken at the face cutout stand!

The latest recommended dessert at the Ryugashido Cavern is this “Butterfly Pea” blue gelato that is currently on sale at “Materia”, a popular gelato store that has been introduced on TV and in guide books. “Butterfly pea,” a type of legume, is used to produce a beautiful blue color and can turn herbal tea into a cool blue color as well. It has a slight pineapple flavor. Let’s post photos of it on Instagram using the hashtag “#HamanakoBlue”.

Gelato sold at the popular gelato store “Materia”

Next to it, there is the green gelato “Moringa”, a superfood that was loved by Cleopatra. It is said to be locally produced in Hamamatsu City.

Enjoy a natural cold-air bath in the cool foot water of “Yokita Cave”

We’ve already told you that winter is a great time to visit the warm cave, but let’s finish up with a way to enjoy the cave during the hottest part of the year!

Enjoy the free “Yokita Cave” between April and October

Yokita Cave is a footbath facility that uses natural water flowing out of the cave and cool winds and can be used (free of charge) for a limited time only from April to October. There is a signboard there that reads “Japan’s first natural cold-air bath and the best cold footbath facility in Japan”. It’s quite rare to see a “cold-air footbath” instead of the typical “hot water footbath”. The water is very icy cold and perfect for the hot summer! Towels can be purchased at the store.

Sit side by side
The water flows in the area that appears whitish, although it is too transparent to see

I only dipped my feet in the bath for about a minute, but the water was so cold that I started to feel a tingling sensation. Now I see why this would be perfect on a hot day!

There are many more recommendations at the Ryugashido Cavern that we couldn’t introduce all of them here today! The “Ryugashido Ayu Fishing Park” (open from mid-July to the end of September), where you can catch and barbecue ayu (sweetfish), is just a 2- to 3-minute drive away. Add that to the course and you can enjoy a full day of fun!

The Ryugashido Cavern is where the prehistoric past crosses paths with the modern age. Why not take a journey into a world that is a little different from your everyday life?

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