This formative beauty created by nature over 300 million years is still changing little by little even today
(C) Kumamoto PrefectureRyusendo in Kumagun Kumamura, Kumamoto, is the largest limestone cave in Kyushu. It is believed to have been generated by an upthrusting limestone unit over 300 million years. About one kilometer of the 4.8 km-long cave is open to the public. The route takes 30 minutes to explore. Drops falling from the ceiling and carbon dioxide make stalactites grow downward. Stalagmites grow upward from the point where stalactites fall. Stalactites and stalagmites form limestone pillars; water flowing along the sloped ceiling and wall crystallizes into a stone curtain; water flowing along walls creates thick flow stones. You can see various beautiful forms generated by nature that still continues erosion.
The cave provides a habitat for eastern bent-winged bats, greater horseshoe bats, eastern long-fingered bats, and other animals. Bats sleep by day. During night they go out of the cave and search for insects, emitting ultrasonic waves while flying. They eat also tree pests. It is believed that 20,000 greater horseshoe bats are living around Ryusendo and eat as much as 80 kg of insects every day.
Address: Ose, Kuma-gun Kuma-mura, Kumamoto
Phone: 0966-34-0211 (Kuma Villages Forest Cooperative)
Hours open to visitors: 8:30-17:30 (admission until 17:00)
Admission Fee: 1050 yen (adults/ high school students); 735 yen (junior-high school student); 630 yen (elementary school students); 525 yen (ages 3 and older)
Closed: Open throughout the year
Directions: 20 minutes on foot from Ryusendo Station on the JR Hisatsu Line (2 hours from Hakata Station). (Car) 30 minutes from Hitoyoshi Interchange on the Kyushu Expressway.