Monday, October 1, 2012

Ryusendo Cave



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!

DSC_0019_DxODSC_9987_DxO! DSC_9968_DxO

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.



Hinano is a buffet style restaurant located in Hachinohe. (It is next to Yamada Denki which is next to Toys R’Us). It is famous for its organic dishes and, of course, chocolate fountain! You will find Chinese and Japanese cuisine here and sometimes more! (Last time they offered lasagna!) The food is very fresh, tasty and not too heavy.

DSC_9923_DxOHere is a sampling of the buffet, Nabe, udon, fries, salad, greens and tempura!














I’m usually not a fan of buffets, but I really like Hinano!


Hours: lunch: Sunday to Saturday:      1130-1630 (They stop refilling the buffet at 1430)

            dinner: Sunday-Thursday:       1730-2200 (stop refilling at 2030)

                Friday and Saturday:   1730-2230 (stop refilling at 2100)

Directions: Enter the toll road or take Route 45 from Misawa. Exit the toll road at the Hachinohe exit and make a right at the stoplight. Continue down Route 45 until you get to Sega World and make a left (you can either go left or right). Go through two stoplights and the Pia Do sign is at the left corner of the second stoplight. Toys R’ Us is behind Pia Do and Hinano is to the right of Toys R’ Us and Yamada Denki.