Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yamaguchi
Population
1,528,107

 Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park

Fascinating fossils and charming chasms.

Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park  is one of the most popular sights in the rustic prefecture of Yamaguchi. This region is known for its history and traditionalism, and the park fits in with this reputation.

The geology of the area is fascinating, and it also has historical significance as it was officially named by Emperor Hirohito in 1926. The area has been a source of pride for the region ever since.

Lots of limestone

One of the biggest attractions of the park is actually underneath its surface.Akiyoshido Cave is the largest and longest limestone cave in Japan, with a width of 100 meters and a length of nearly nine kilometers.  It has a series of giant limestone caves and caverns that you can explore in tour groups, as one kilometer of it is open to the public for exploring.

Akiyoshidaido Cave entrance.

The tour takes you down to the lowest point of the cave where you can see hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites. You can also find unique rock formations like the golden pillar, a limestone structure that is 15-meters-high and four-meters wide. Once you’re done exploring inside, you can take an elevator back up to the surface.

Walking around the park, visitors will see limestone structures that protrude sharply upwards out of the ground. Having formed overtime, some are as tall as two meters. Walking through fields with rock pinnacles is a bizarre inversion of expectations that needs to be seen to be believed. These natural towers jutting out of the ground are another phenomenon of this national gem.

Photo by: Wiki Akiyoshidai Karst observation deck from Akiyoshi Plateau.

Fossils and changin’ seasons

In the rocks, there are a number of fossils. Scientists have found remains of rhinoceroses, elephants and even tigers. The area allows us to travel back in time and find out what animals inhabited Japan when the seas levels were low enough for it to still be connected to mainland Asia.

A sea of green in the park.

You can visit Akiyoshidai at different times of year for a different atmosphere and a changing appearance of the park. In summer, the park is a joyous place; many people  take advantage of  the  sunny summer days to go out and enjoy nature, as well as  the firework festival held here every July.

In winter, the park is more reserved and peaceful. Every February the grass-burning ceremonies, knows as yamayaki, are conducted. It’s quite a sight to see,  as the  fire and the smell of kindling add to the park experience. Afterwards the park is scorched black, but new seedlings burst forth almost instantly.

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Things To Know

Fees and Hours

The park is open everyday, from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Akiyoshidai is free of charge, but the entrance fee for the Akiyoshido Cave is ¥1,200. The cave has three entrances: the Akiyoshido entrance, the Kurotani entrance or via the aforementioned elevator.

How To Get There

Address

3449-1 Shūhōchō Akiyoshi, Mine-shi, Yamaguchi-ken 754-0511, Japan

By train

Take the bullet train (shinkansen) from Tokyo to Shin-Yamaguchi station (around four hours) then transfer to the JR local line to Asa (30 minutes), then change and take the train to Mine  (30 minutes).

By bus

From Yamaguchi station you can take the JR bus to Akiyoshido (around one hour, for ¥1,210). From Shin-Yamaguchi station you can ride the Bocho Bus to the park (around 45 minutes,  for ¥1,170).

The Bocho Bus can also be used from Hagi to Akiyoshidai (around one hour, for ¥1,720) or Akiyoshido (around 1 hour and 10 minutes, for ¥1,810).

Where To Stay

Shuho Royal Hotel Shuhokan
  • Shuhoucho Akiyoshidai 1237-236 Mine-Shi, Yamaguchi 754-0511
  • 8/10
  • 0.7 km
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Tenjukunomori Keigetsu
  • Mitou cho Mana 1071 Mine-Shi, Yamaguchi 754-0122
  • 6.2/10
  • 8.3 km
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Yadomaru Mine
  • Isa-cho Isa 4849-1 Mine-Shi, Yamaguchi 759-2222
  • 8.3/10
  • 10.4 km
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Mine Grand Hotel
  • Ominecho Higashibun 270-1 Mine-Shi, Yamaguchi 759-2212
  • 6.2/10
  • 11.1 km
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