Saturday, March 28, 2015

Akiyoshidai and Akiyoshido

Jeff and I decided it was time for another little trip.  We decided to head over to the neighboring prefecture, Yamaguchi and check out a couple of unique geographic features. 

Akiyoshido is a the largest limestone cave in east Asia and is about 10k long and over 100 meters wide in places.  The first 1k of it is open for visitors. 

Entrance to the cave
You can see from this picture that the cave is well lit (although I think the lighting is better in the pictures than it was in person, yay awesome camera!) and there are walking paths for visitors.  You can also see that it is HUGE!
One section was a series of pools.  It reminded me the pools in front of Havasupi falls when I saw them back in the 1990's.
There was a sign that said there was over 100 layers.
All of the interesting features in the cave were named.  This one was called the Jellyfish Waterfall.  I thought it was pretty cool looking.

Lots of stalactites
The sounds in the cave were really interesting as they echoed and bounced around.  This area there was a lot of dripping from the roof of the cave.
After we finished enjoying the cave we checked out the touristy shops and ate some ice cream.  This was our first trip of the year that has been warm enough that ice cream seemed like a good idea.  Yum!

We then took a little drive to the area above the cave which is also quite interesting.  It is an undulating karst landscape with lots of small limestone features jutting out of the ground.  There are supposed to be several other smaller caves in the region and we saw several sinkholes.  There are very few trees and it is unlike any other part of Japan that we have seen.  It was very rugged and desolate, yet beautiful in it's own way.  We took a little hike to enjoy both the day and the landscape. 

The rolling hills of the karst.

I think this one best captures the rustic beauty of the place.

You can see the typical Japanese green hills in the distance.

Bump update, expanding at a frightening rate.  I'm the reason the hike was only 3-4 miles.

Jeff caught me in a rare moment of cuteness, lol

I caught him falling off a rock...

... and trying to look like a mountain goat on another one.
 All in all, we had a fantastic day.  It was totally worth the 2 hour drive each way for our little trip and we even had fun singing in the car while driving.  Today we are relaxing.  I think an afternoon movie is next on the agenda.

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