Akiyoshidai plateau is the largest karst plateau in Japan and is a beautiful place in all seasons. Akiyoshidai and the Shuhodo Cavern, positioned to the south of the plateau, are located in the Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park and are designated natural monuments.
At 300 million years old, Akiyoshidai was formed when a coral reef was pushed up to the earth’s surface and the exposed limestone eroded through wind and rain. Visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view of the plateau with karst formations among native grasses and wildflowers from the centrally-located observation deck.
There are set paths through the plateau that you can follow and you can also venture away from them. They are, however, an excellent way to keep your bearings in this vast landscape.
In the summer there is an annual fireworks festival and laser light show held right in the middle of the park. In recent years, the firework display has been supported by crowdfunding, suggesting that there is a great deal of public interest in the monument.
Shuhodo Cavern is Asia’s largest limestone cave. Although it is 10-kilometers in length, only around one kilometer of the huge cave is open to the public. Despite the fact that only a section of the site is accessible to visitors, you can spend quite a bit of time at the site.
The cave is dimly lit, keeping its mystery intact and it takes time to cover the one kilometer, as there are so many places to look other than straight ahead. You are looking up at the formations on the ceiling, to the side at the towering structures emerging from the earth, all while attempting to keep from stumbling as you move forward.
Although Akiyoshidai and Shuhodo Cavern are off the beaten path, they promise to thrill visitors with their natural history and fantastic sights.
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