Nippara Limestone Caves

An interesting way to beat the heat of summer

Kim   - 2 min read

Anyone who has visited Japan during the summer months understands that the heat and humidity can be oppressive at times. There are numerous ways to beat the heat, such as utilizing traditional folding fans, staying out of the sun where possible, or visiting places like water parks and beaches. However, there's a way to enjoy temperatures of around 17°C year round in the Tokyo area (around 62 Fahrenheit), and that's at the Nippara Limestone Caves.

The caves are located in the Okutama region of Tokyo, and they hold the title of being the largest cave structure in the Kanto region. Spanning a total length of 1270 meters, the caves have even been designated as a Natural Monument by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Part of what makes the cave structure here so unique is that they illuminate parts of it in different colors, plus there is music throughout the cave. You can see how beautiful the colorful illuminations look in the photo below.

Photo: Kentaro Ohno / CC BY 2.0

If you do plan to visit the caves, a few tips: wear footwear that has good grip, since many parts of the cave are wet and slippery. There are sections with stairs, so keep that in mind if you have mobility issues or plan to visit with young children in tow. Also, if you visit in the summer, you may want to bring a light jacket with you.

Admission to the caves is priced at ¥800 for adults, ¥600 for junior high aged students, and ¥500 for elementary aged students.

Getting there

The Nippara Limestone Caves are located around 20 minutes driving time from Oku-tama Station, on the JR Ome Line. Free on-site parking is available, but it is limited.

For those visiting via public transport, buses run from the station to the general area of the caves – the bus travel time is approximately 40 minutes, and then visitors need to continue for about 20 minutes on foot to the cave.


Kim @kim.b