Irimizu Cave is definitely not for the claustrophobic. This limestone cave is famous among adventure-seekers and casual spelunkers. It is well-known as a cave for the daring, and is clearly not for the average tourist. You will find no well-lit paved walkways with hand-rails here. Irimizu Cave is dark, narrow, wet and for the amateur… challenging. Be prepared to get soaked up to your waist.
The 900 meter long cave consists of three consecutive courses. Course A is 150 meters and takes about half an hour. It has lights inside and can be enjoyed in normal clothing. Course B (60 mins) and C (90 mins) are claustrophobia-ville where you have to squeeze through narrow gaps between limestone rocks and wade on your hands and knees in 10°C water. Course C requires a guide, and they are unfortunately only available on weekends and national holidays. Course C is closed during the winter (Dec-Feb).
[ Tips and details ]
What to bring:
Flash light (a headlamp or other hands-free type light would be even better). This is absolutely necessary!
No specific type of clothing is required, but be prepared to get wet. Hats or helmets are recommended to protect your head but not required.
Any footwear is ok, but sandals, water-shoes, or something like that would be good. Boots are not recommended.
Raincoat, candles, and beach sandals can be rented at the entrance.
Changing rooms and lockers are available.
8:30-17:00 (Mar-Nov), 8:30-16:30 (Dec-Feb)
Open seven days a week.
Registration is closed an hour and a half before closing time for Course B and two hours before for Course C.
Course A is 550 yen for high school age and above (450 yen for elementary and middle school children). Course B is 700 yen for high school students and above (500 for younger). Course C is 4,600 yen for a group of up to five members including the guide fee.
Location: Tamura, Fukushima
30-minute walk (2 km) from JR Sugaya Station. 5 minutes by taxi from JR Kanmata Station.