Top choice in Western Honshū

Within the Akiyoshi-dai Quasi-National Park, Akiyoshi-dō is the largest limestone cave in Japan. It extends about 10km (though public access is limited to a 1km section), at some points 100m wide, and a river flows through it. The watery reflection of the towering cave walls gives the dizzying impression that you’re walking over a deep ravine. There’s a paved route, push-button information points, and an elevator in the middle to a lookout.

Despite the development here, it's a good side trip from Yamaguchi or Hagi. For more on the cave and the surrounding plateau region, a great area for nature walks, go to www.karusuto.com. Information is also available at tourist offices in Yamaguchi and Hagi.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Honshū attractions

1. Beppu Benten Pond

5.37 MILES

This beautiful reflective pond of crystal cobalt water feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of Akiyoshi-dai Quasi-National Park…

2. Kōzan-kōen

9.91 MILES

North of the town centre is Kōzan Park, where the five-storey pagoda of Rurikō-ji (瑠璃光寺), a National Treasure dating from 1442, is picturesquely situated…

3. Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum

10.08 MILES

Opened in 1912, this museum's impressive permanent collection includes science and technology, astronomy, natural science and humanities sections.

4. St Francis Xavier Memorial Church

10.15 MILES

Built in 1952 in honour of St Francis Xavier, this church burned down in 1991 and was rebuilt in 1998 with a clinically modern interior and geometric…

5. Christian Museum

10.15 MILES

The ground-floor Christian museum in the St Francis Xavier Memorial Church covers the life of the namesake Jesuit missionary and the early history of…

6. Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum

10.22 MILES

This interesting gallery focuses on the art of the region, with three rooms showing work from its varied permanent collection; leafy grounds featuring…

7. Saikotei

10.26 MILES

This handsome building was originally a high-end restaurant named Gion Saikotei from 1878 to 1996. In 2004 it was converted into this cultural museum,…

8. Yasaka-jinja

10.29 MILES

A wooden shrine dating from 1520, most notable for Gion Matsuri, a festival that opens with the Sagi-mai (Egret Dance) held held here on 20 July each year…