Travel to Niimi City, where you can have an adventure experiencing the Earth's mysteries and learn about traditions and culture.

Explore a cave and see a stunning waterfall… Finally, enjoy the nature and culture of Niimi City by experiencing making Japanese washi paper.

Niimi City, located in the mountains of Okayama Prefecture, is a place full of nature that has different scenery in each of the four seasons. It has long been a city where washi paper-making flourishes. It is dotted with limestone caves and caverns where you can experience the mysteries of the Earth, as well as places featuring traditional experiences.

First, have a “Cave Experience” in which you can see, touch, and feel the grandeur of the Earth. Inside the cave, which is said to have been discovered about 400 years ago, there are icicle-shaped stone pillars and bamboo shoot-shaped stalagmites here and there, which truly seem like a work of art created by nature. The best highlight is the large hall in the innermost part of the cave. Impressive sights appear one after the other, such as the approximately five meter-long large stone pillar created over about 50,000 years as well as the ceiling which has ripple shapes because the large hall was once full of water. During the approximately two-hour tour, you will be taught by a guide about how to safely proceed through the cave, and you can enjoy the adventure of crawling through and under narrow rocks while relying on the light of your headlamp. Reception for the “Cave Experience” is available at the Outdoor Paradise shop in Osayama Autocamp Ground. The campground also offers a variety of other activities such as canoeing and trekking up mountain streams. The campground also has cleverly-planned sites such as permanent tent sites where you can experience the latest tents and trailer houses. Try enjoying an overnight stay or camping during the day.

Osayama Autocamp Ground

The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.

The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.
The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.
The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.

A towering 5-meter stone pillar that took about 50,000 years to create

The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.

The ceiling in the main hall with ripple shapes. This is known as “box art.”

The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.
The entrance is a narrow hole. Turn around and slowly enter the cave.

Inside the spacious trailer house

Next, visit Naru Falls, a waterfall that roars with the sound of powerfully gushing water, and the Nanamagari (seven turns) on the Yogo Rindo forest road, a historical civil engineering structure. Naru Falls, located about a 10-minute walk from where you park your car, has three tiers and is about 30 meters tall. It is especially beautiful from April to August when the surrounding trees turn green, and the foliage season from October to November when the leaves turn yellow and red. Try to time your visit with one of these periods.

Right next to Naru Falls, there is a sloping road with multiple curves called “Nanamagari.” It was built more than 100 years ago to cross a difficult area with an elevation difference of about 30 meters. At the time of its construction, it was used to transport charcoal, one of the main industries in the region. Today, it remains as a precious heritage site that preserves its original appearance. The Ishigaki stone walls, which are often seen in Japanese castles, create a unique landscape.

Naru Falls, Nanamagari
Naru Falls, Nanamagari
Naru Falls, Nanamagari
Naru Falls, Nanamagari

At the end of your trip to Niimi City, head to Yumesuki Park, which has Japan’s largest triad waterwheel, known as a “parent-child-grandchild waterwheel,” with wheels of three different sizes. At the Paper Center, you can learn how to make traditional Japanese washi paper. The raw materials are plants known as kozo and mitsumata. The processed materials are spread on wooden molds and then dried to produce paper with a natural texture. It takes up to 30 minutes to make a postcard (300 yen).

After the experience, it is recommended to have lunch featuring Japanese Black beef at Kitchen Koujiro, a restaurant directly operated by a farm. The cows are raised on an unfertilized pasture without stress. The beef is lean and has a natural flavor, so it has a strong aroma and umami taste.

Yumesuki Park

The key is to slowly spread the ingredients and drain the water.

Yumesuki Park

Color and decorate the paper freely before drying.

Yumesuki Park
Yumesuki Park

Roast Beef Rice Bowl Lunch (1,530 yen)

Osayama Autocamp Ground
Address
1 Osa-kominami, Niimi City, Okayama [Map]
TEL
+81-879-82-2200
Open
Cave experiences start at 9:00 and 12:00 (reservations accepted until the day before)
Closed
Tuesdays
Parking
about 70
Access
10 minutes by car from the Chugoku motorway Osa SA Smart IC if you have a car equipped with an ETC card
Credit card
Accepted
URL
Website
Price
Cave experience: junior high school students and above 6,600 yen, elementary school students 4,950 yen (separate charge for sports insurance of 300 yen per person)

MAP

Naru Falls, Yogo Rindo forest road,Nanamagari
Address
Sugo-bessho, Niimi City, Okayama [Map]
TEL
+81-867-72-6136(Niimi Commerce and Tourism Division)
Open
Free to visit
Parking
3
Access
About20 minutes’ drive from the Chugoku motorway / Niimi interchange

MAP

Yumesuki Park
Address
1977-1 Shingo-shimokojiro, Niimi City, Okayama [Map]
TEL
+81-867-92-6577
Open
9:00-17:00(Experiences start at 10:30 and 14:00, reservations accepted until the day before, Kitchen Koujiro is open from 10:00 to 16:00. (lunch time starts at 11:00, last order time is 13:30.))
Closed
Wednesdays
Seats
32
Parking
20
Access
About15 minutes’ drive from the Chugoku motorway / Niimi interchange
Credit card
Accepted

MAP

(This information is as of December 2020)

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