The Mysterious Basalt Caves of Genbudo Park
Natural wonder registered in San’in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark
Marvel at artwork shaped by nature in the form of the stunning basalt caves of Genbudo Park, just a stone’s throw from the soothing thermal waters of Kinosaki Onsen. The park consists of five caves comprising columns of rock in striking honeycomb patterns that were formed by volcanic activity 1.6 million years ago.
These curiously shaped caves are part of San'in Kaigan National Park, registered as a UNESCO Global Geopark, and are themselves a national natural monument. They are also known for having played a significant role in the discovery of magnetization reversal. With English-speaking staff members available at designated times, you can learn more about the fascinating history of these formations and legends.
Cross the street to visit Genbudo Museum, a fascinating and enlightening stop for any geology enthusiast, with rare rocks, minerals, and fossils on display, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex, pterosaur and an Asian elephant. Take a break at the museum cafe with an outdoor terrace offering a beautiful panoramic view over the Maruyama River and surrounding mountains.
While the park can be reached by car or taxi, crossing the Maruyama River by boat lends an added sense of outdoor adventure to this excursion. The short bike ride from Kinosaki Onsen is also particularly scenic.
Access: From Shin-Osaka Station, take the Konotori Limited Express Train on the San’in Main Line to Kinosakionsen Station (about 2 hours and 45 minutes ); transfer to a local train to Genbudo Station (about 40 minutes); contact the Genbudo Museum in advance, and a boat can be arranged to bring you across the river (paid).
1362 Akaishi, Toyooka-shi, Hyogo-ken
|Approx. 30 minutes or more