Komakado Kazaana Cave
Explore Mt. Fuji’s lava tunnels not too far from Gotenba.
Near Gotenba, a city famous for its huge outlet mall, are some natural wonders. Located in Shizuoka Prefecture in the quiet town of Mishima, the caves are an accent to a place also close enough to Mt. Fuji that the majestic mountain can be seen from street level on a clear day.
Just outside the city is a gorgeous countryside where you’ll find the national natural treasure: Komakado Kazaana Cave. This cave is the largest lava tube near Mt. Fuji, and if that isn’t enough, it also has free-flowing water from Mt. Fuji itself that you can drink from.
Entering the cave
It’s a short path to the cave’s entrance through a torii gate. The air is fresh with the smell of the moss that covers nearly everything within sight. A shimenawa (enclosing rope) guards the entrance to the cave as it was once believed to house three deities.
Due to the enormous size of the mouth of the cave wind was always blowing. This made it impossible to keep a torch lit while trying to enter the cave. You can feel a pleasant change in temperature once entering the cave. It stays at a constant 19˚ C ( 66.2˚ F). The path is marginally lit by small lights so as to protect tiny animals called troglobites. Tiny puddles have collected all throughout the cave as the whole area is filled with springs supplied by the water that flows from Mt. Fuji. It’s after walking over a small wooden bridge and ducking into a crouching position while passing through very low archway that you find yourself in the famed lava tunnel.
The floor is ribbed and looks like waves frozen for eternity from the flow of lava that once passed through, and when you shine light on the walls there’s a deep dark glassy sparkle on the smooth surfaces. Once you’ve found your way back to the entrance, be sure to step lightly because the moss is slightly unforgiving.
If all this exploring has made you thirsty, you’re in luck because behind the visitor’s office is water that’s safe to drink from Mt. Fuji. The water is just as you would expect water coming from an epic volcano would be, absolutely pristine and refreshing. They even supply communal cups for you to use if you’re not one willing to drink out of your hands. Although using your hands feels more personable, almost like you’re shaking hands with Fuji-san.
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