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Genbudo Park Renewal

Illuminated Genbudo Cave

Visiting Genbudo Park

Toyooka City is pleased to announce the awaited re-opening of Genbudo Park! Home to the five beautiful basalts 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.

Genbudo, the largest of the five basalt caves at Genbudo Park, with a new lookout and performance stage
Genbudo, the largest of the five basalt caves at Genbudo Park, with a new lookout and performance stage

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. Visitors can still see these basalt rocks just about everywhere during one’s visit to the area, including in the park’s walkways.

Seiryudo, one cave with visible mining traces.
Seiryudo, one cave with visible mining traces.

Getting to the Caves

Access to the Genbudo Caves is possible via various options, including a 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. Traveling 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.

Illuminated Genbudo Cave
Illuminated Genbudo Cave

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.

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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