Rokando!

Rokando Cave

What an eventful week! First hiking and now spelunking! Ok not really but we did crawl almost half a mile into a mountain and we wore helmets.

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Pre helmet. Did I mention Japan is super hygienic? They even give you a cap for sharing a helmet!

So Japan being the mountainous wonder that it is; is home to some underground waterfalls and walk-able caves. We have one of the highest underground waterfalls right in our backyard.

Every week we go to Tono to enjoy a hot spring. On the way there, we see a tiny little strip of buildings that the highway sign says must be Rokanado. A tiny town built in the valley. So research unearthed that there is a rather lovely cave in this town. So away we went!

So it’s not exactly tourist season so when we showed up we couldn’t find anyone. Luckily they sell tickets by a vending machine. Its something I’ve come to love about Japan. Sometimes instead of a waitress taking your order, you look at a menu then go to a vending machine to place your order then give your ticket to the waitress.

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Cap- Check Helmet- Check Rain Jacket- yea alright!

So we got our ticket and behold the man in charge notices us! We get a rain jacket and a helmet.

Then off we go!

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Into the Deep.

First impressions, this cave was made by Hobbits. We were crouched liked this for 25% of the time. Ouch. Thank God for those helmets. I needed it after like 5 steps.

It's  a bit cramped. Just a bit

It’s a bit cramped. Just a bit

The path is 700 meters long. Which is only like 1/4 miles but a 1/4 mile underground crawling and watching out for slippery walks is actually quite tiring.

Some places weren't too crowded.

Some places weren’t too crowded.

We thought of our dear friends Eric and Tam during this bit. Eric is a giant so we want him to visit here.

We thought of our dear friends Eric and Tam during this bit. Eric is a giant so we want him to visit here.

About 300 meters in we ran into a couple on their way back. I heard them ahead of time and gave them warning- aka, spoke really loudly in English so we didn’t spoke them. We couldn’t see eachother but we rounded a corner at a same time. It was still spooky.

In case of emergency press here. Hope the lights don't go out though!

In case of emergency press here. Hope the lights don’t go out though!

I’m really glad I never saw the descent.

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Yes the hole really is about the size of my body.

Tetsuya's helmet was not secure. His head is giant. But we righted it soon enough!

Tetsuya’s helmet was not secure. His head is giant. But we righted it soon enough!

It also got cold!

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I loved how we got to go at our own pace. In NC one year I remember we took a tour of a cave it was cool but we were in a big group. I like going in a small group.

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There were many obstacles in our path.

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Sometimes we had to physically strain ourselves to remove these obstacles.

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Almost there!!!

Almost there!!!

Along the way was some natural occurring religious art.

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I can’t imagine how they transported that here!

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Finally we made it to the waterfall, only to find out that if we had climbing gear( and guide, and liscence, etc) we could go up to a second pool and waterfall!!!

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We were the only ones in the cave till we exited. On the way out we met one solo gentleman who asked if it was far. I could not go in that cave by myself!!! I kept thinking what if they light went out?????

Safe and sound.

Safe and sound.

Side note- their bathroom is awesome! I judge places by their bathrooms and this one was in a log cabin smelled of freshly shaved wood and had scented liquid soap. Awesome.

Bath time!

Bath time!

Afterwards we went to the Bath house.

Life if good

Life if good

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Don’t you wish airports had lounges like this?

After bath meal!

After bath meal!

So Tono is known for is Ghengis khan. A BBQ lamb dish. You get your own BBQ plate- in the table. Order your meats and your veg and you grill it. We go to Tono almost once a week, but we don’t eat lamb every week. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Sometimes we eat beef bowl.

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