Explore the underground depths of Kochi's prehistoric past.
Imagine this: you climb past a beautiful mini-waterfall, pay the toll and enter into a dark, alien world. Huge stalactites formulations twice your height line the path you take, while the gentle flow of a stream provides an eerie soundtrack to your explorations. Steeped in history, the Ryugadou Cave offers an atmospheric tour into Shikoku’s pre-historic past.
The standard route takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Keep your eyes peeled for a magical encounter with its current inhabitants as the cave is home to over 100 species of animals, including an extensive bat colony. Those wanting a more hands-on experience can book the Adventure Course in advance which will take you on a two-hour journey involving climbing ladders and crawling through narrow passageways until you reach mysterious depths that have remained untouched for millennia.
Discovered in 1931 within Mount Sampo, the limestone caves are thought to be over 150,000,000 years old. Archaeologists also found evidence of pottery and earthenware vessels from Japan’s Yayoi period (dating from 300BC to 300AD), proving that humans once made their homes in the cave. The Ryugado Museum, located outside of the cave, is well worth a visit if you want to see some of the incredible artifacts that have provided an invaluable insight into the lives of these literal cavemen and women.