Genbudo, the largest of the five basalt caves at Genbudo Park, with a new lookout and performance stage.
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 23, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Toyooka City is pleased to announce the awaited re-opening of Genbudo Park! Home to the five beautiful basalt Genbudo Caves with over 1.6 million years of geological history, Genbudo Park was designated in 1931 as a National Natural Monument by the Japanese Government, and the impressive caves are also part of the San’in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark, making it a perfect educational outdoor trip for visitors to the area. The newly renovated park grounds welcome back visitors with improved walking paths, lookout points, and explanations and exhibition signs completely translated into English. Entry fees range from 500 JPY for adults and 300 JPY for students (400 JPY for adults and 240 JPY for students with groups of 20 people or more), with viewing hours from 9:00 to 17:00 (last entry at 16:30).
Harmony Between Nature and Industry
After a volcanic eruption over 1.6 million years ago, the basalt rocks of the caves formed columnar joints due to magma cooling, contracting, and eventually forming vertical hexagonal cracks. Before becoming a park and museum for the public to enjoy, the Genbudo Caves were utilized as a quarry during the Edo Period (1603~1867), resulting in the recessed areas of the cave that are still viewable to this day. Locals discovered that the rocks could easily be used for building materials, and visitors can still see these basalt rocks just about everywhere during one’s visit to the area, including in the park’s walkways.
Getting to the Caves
Access to the Genbudo Caves is possible via a variety of options, including sightseeing boat, rent-a-car, and bicycling from Kinosaki Onsen Station. Driving from Kinosaki Onsen to Genbudo Park takes approximately seven minutes, however, the most adventurous (and most popular) option for foreign tourists is calling Genbudo Museum and reserving a sightseeing boat across the Maruyama River from JR Gembudo Station. The slow-paced ride is particularly popular for families with children. Visitors who enjoy scenic cycling routes also won’t be disappointed after a 20-minute ride from Kinosaki Onsen to Genbudo Park. Travelling to the caves by bicycle leads cyclists down a countryside road lined with the Maruyama Riverside on one side and forested mountains on the other. Especially lucky visitors may see an Oriental White Stork flying overhead.
An Illumination Celebration
In honor of Genbudo Park’s re-opening, nightly light up events are held every day throughout the month of September, painting the caves in a rainbow of glowing illuminations. Stage shows are also to be held on specified evenings in conjunction with the light up displays, including tap dancing and also a performance from the Toyooka Theater Festival.
KINOSAKI ONSEN: A COZY HOT SPRING TOWN FOR THE MOST AUTHENTIC JAPANESE EXPERIENCE
Kinosaki Onsen is a town of time-honored hot springs dating back 1300 years ago. It is home to seven public bathhouses, all located within walking distance of each other and the train station. Guests are encouraged to wear yukata and geta, stroll through the town, and go onsen-hopping.
Toyooka is a downtown area home to the Oriental White Stork, a bird that was revived from extinction in this very town. The city’s efforts restored the Oriental White Stork population, and now over 260 fly the skies of Japan. Toyooka is also known for the Genbudo Caves.
Izushi is the resident castle town, popular for its nostalgic atmosphere of Edo-era Japan. It is home to many interesting attractions such as castle ruins, a samurai house, a kabuki theater, and a clock tower. The town’s specialty is Izushi Sara Soba, buckwheat noodles served in small portions on small plates.
Kannabe is a mountainous area with fun activities year-round. In the winter, one can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding. In the warm months, one can go camping, paragliding, fishing, tree climbing, and more. Kannabe is the perfect destination for adventurers.
Takeno is a quaint fisherman town that is a hidden gem among the northern coast of Hyogo Prefecture. The beach has clear, blue waters while the mountains surrounding it offer great hiking opportunities. It is encouraged to stroll through the peaceful town, where one can find small shops and traditional landscapes.
Tanto is a quiet countryside town with magnificent nature—including a giant field of tulips in the spring and brilliant red-leaved trees in the fall.
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