The Shobara Cave
Posted by Heliocentrism on January 23, 2015
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I’ve known about this cave for a while, but I could not find exactly where it was. I had gps coordinates for the cave, but my Garmin said that it could not calculate the directions needed to get us there.
A friend came over to our apartment one day and I asked her about the cave. She got on google and showed me where it was. From google.maps I found Shobara’s tourist website and general directions to the cave.
I put in the new coordinates and the Garmin once again refused to help. But this time Mark and I knew to head to Tojo. Once there we found some ambiguous signs and asked a couple people for directions. We also found a few other tourist who were looking for the same place. If you don’t know where this place is, it’s a little difficult to find.
We parked our car and stopped at a little restaurant before starting our 2 hour hike. We ordered curry udon and consulted the many maps that were given to us when we asked for directions.
The maps are not for not getting lost. There is only one path to follow. The maps tell you what you pass along the way. Most of the items on the map seemed like stuff made up by Shobara’s board of tourist to attract more people. I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. The walk was so much more better for all the demon rocks and stories about demon rocks.
I’ve noticed a trend in our little neighboring town to the north. They are obsessed with Egypt. We saw the mountain that the board of tourism wants us to believe is actually a pyramid. Now, in the cave we saw a natural sphinx. I wonder it they have mummies anywhere…
The path is a lovely place to go for a walk, especially in fall. It would be a great place to take a date, since neither Shobara or my town, Miyoshi, have a movie theater. Yes, you read that correctly. There are no movie theaters in my town or the next town over.
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)
- Coordinates 34°52’08.5″N 133°12’10.8″E
Taisyakukyo Tojo-cho Shobara City , Zip code 729-5244
- Parking – 400 JYN per car
- Hakuundo cave – 250 JYN/adult
- Bike rental – 500 JYN
- Hakuundo Cave – 9:00~ 17:00
- The rest of the trail is always available.
- Things you can see here:
- Hakuun-do Cave (白雲洞) – a 200-meter-long limestone cave
- On-bashi Bridge – a 90-meter-long
- You can rent bikes here.
- Near the parking lot there is a restaurant.
- There is also a coffee shop near the start of the trail.