Art of nature built through everlasting time
1,200 m-long cave with a legendary story of tragic love
(c) Okayama Prefectural Tourist FederationThis is a 1,200 m-long limestone cave designated as the Natural Monument of Okayama Prefecture. It is a cave made through erosion of the limestone area by rainwater, etc. and is designated as part of the Okayama Prefectural Upper Takahashi River Natural Park. It is located on the banks of the Takahashi River, and its entrance is on the 240 m-high sheer precipice. That is a dynamic situation. Artistic stalactites, such as "Tsuraraishi (stalactite like an icicle)" that extends from the ceiling and "Ishitakenoko (bamboo shoot-shaped stalactite)" like a bamboo sprouting, are beautifully lit up. There are a variety of places of interest in about 40-minute course, such as 50 m-high fall called "Chijiku no Taki (earth axis fall)" and an underground lake named "Seto no Umi (sea of Seto)."
In front of Ikurado Cave is a brink called "Arisabuchi" with a tragic legendary story. About 400 years ago, there were lovers, Mosaku and Arisa. A beautiful princess named Tsuruhime visited there, and captivated Mosaku. Mosaku went to the capital in chase of Tsuruhime, and Arisa who was left behind killed herself by jumping into the brink. Village people named the brink "Arisabuchi," and built a shrine called "Arisa no Miya" in Ikurado Cave to honor Arisa. She is now worshiped as a god of marriage and a guardian angel for lovers. The temperature in the cave is kept around 15 °C all year. So, make sure to wear a jacket when you visit the cave in the middle of summer.
Address: 409 Ikura, Niimi-shi, Okayama
Hours open to visitors: 8:30-17:00 (Entrance is up to 16:30）
Admission Fee: 1,000 yen (adults); 800 yen (junior high school students); 500 yen (children)
Directions: 15-minute walk from Ikura Station (2 hours and 10 minutes from Shin-Osaka) of JR Hakubi Line
(Car) 20 minutes from Niimi Interchange on the Chugoku Expressway (parking available)