Sanbe Azukihara Buried Forest 三瓶小豆原 埋没林公園
An underground museum featuring ancient trees buried by volcanic eruption and hidden for millennia
The Sanbe Azukihara Buried Forest is a lost world of trees that lay hidden until just a few decades ago at the base of Mt. Sanbe . The museum dedicated to them lies 15 meters underground.
The trees are almost 4,000 years old
The museum is 15 meters underground
It was discovered in 1983
How to Get There
You can access this site by train, followed by a bus ride and a short walk.
The forest and its museum are located at the base of Mt. Sanbe . A 40-minute bus ride from Odashi Station in the direction of Satsume-Bunkoato. Get off at Zukibaraguchi and walk five minutes down the side road.
A lost world underground
You enter a small door and descend a long, curving stairway that reveals a magical world of giant, ancient trees. At the bottom of this cavernous space are trunks that lie while others stand upright as they did thousands of years ago.
The tallest, over 12 meters tall, and the widest, with a diameter of 2.5 meters, are both cryptomeria, commonly called Japanese cedar, as are most of the other thirty trees that have been excavated here.
Created by cataclysm
Sometime around 3,700 years ago the nearby volcano, Mt. Sanbe , erupted violently. The surrounded area was buried under ash, debris and flowing magma, destroying all life. Due to its topography, this little valley was buried more slowly, which is why many of the trees remained standing.
This buried forest was accidentally discovered in 1983. The top of one of the massive trunks was found just a few meters down.
A second, smaller chamber allows you to see close up the stump and roots of a tree whose trunk has been removed and is on display at the nearby Sanbe Nature Museum.
The museum also has a small, pleasant park with walking trails.