Akiyoshi is made of limestone, which is believed to have developed from coral reefs back in the Paleozoic era. Trees said to have appeared in the area for the first time 500,000 years ago. Many fossils from ancient Japanese rhinoceroses, tigers, and elephants have been escavated from the plateau, giving scientists some idea of what sorts of creatures first inhabited the region.
Because the area is made of limestone, Akiyoshi Cave, the largest cave in Japan, formed over a span of 300,000 years. Today the cave is estimated to be 420,000 cubic meters.
Karst landscape of Akiyoshidai
Akiyoshidai is largely covered with grass. Its grassland is the second largest in Japan and is kept by burning off dead grass in February.
You can see thousands of limestones all around Akiyoshidai, as is characteristic of karst.
Flora and fauna
The park is best reached by direct bus from Shin-Yamaguchi Station, though there is also service from JR Yamaguchi Station, Hagi, and Shimonoseki.
Akiyoshi Cave and the main observatory can be reached on foot, but cars or "karst taxis" are necessary to reach other caves. A one-day taxi pass costs ¥800.
Akiyoshi Cave (秋芳洞), ☎ +81 0837-62-0304 (fax: +81 0837-62-1422), . 8:30AM-4:30PM. Gaining its fame as the largest cave in Japan and the second largest in all of Asia, Akiyoshido is a unique and breathtaking tour.¥1200.