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About TAYA Cave 

Donation Guide Tour

"Saturday, Sunday, and Japanese holidays only" will be available.

Please make an appointment by e-mail to arrange the date and time of your visit after checking the below details.


Taya Cave (formal name: Taya-San-Yu-Ga-Dou) is a huge artificial cave that is complicated in complexity of about 570 meters total length. It is said that its history is since the Kamakura period, the 13th century, and now it is registered a historical cultural site of Yokohama City.


Once you step into this wonderful underground space, you will encounter many wonders.


"How did people make it?"

"How did people dig it without hitting the upper floor?"

"Why did people dig here?"


There are many things that have not been understood yet…..


Since 2015, with the permission of Shingon Jousenji Temple which is managing this TAYA CAVERN, we are trying the preservation activities of this cave with the cooperation of several universities and experts in various fields.


Video production cooperation: Taito Co., Ltd.

(All rights reserved)

Jump to YouTube
© Copyright 田谷の洞窟保存実行委員会
  • 田谷の洞窟紹介動画(YouTube)

TAYA Cave locates in the precinct of "Shingon Sect Daikakuji Faction JOUSENJI Temple", at Yokohama-city Sakae-ku, is an artificial sideway cave that exists from the Kamakura period (the 13th century). Construction age has various opinions and is officially unknown This cave has about 570 m length and 3 floors under a small mountain called TAYA Mountain. It is one of the region historical properties registered by the Yokohama City.

This cave may give us strongly impress "the flow of silent time in history" as a place of study of Shingon Buddhism.

The interior is filled with so many chisel marks that the monks of Tsurugaoka 25
 Priest 'S  residential quarters  attached to  a  Buddhist  temple had dug while singing Buddhist scriptures with one chisel.

There are about 250 beautiful relief works that can be considered to have been engraved on the large and small various domes and walls after the middle Edo period. It is popular in the name of "TAYA Cave", but it is an artificial underground space of huge digging unexpected in Japan.

在地 田谷の洞窟ってどこにあるの?

Taya Cave Location :

Josenji Temple, 1501 Taya-cho, Sakae-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Pref, Japan, 2440844

Visiting hours :

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Josenji reception desk  045-851-2392 

Access :

[Using public transportation]

You can come from JR Ofuna Station and JR Totsuka Station .


 ① Using JR Ofuna Station 


[JR Ofuna Station West Exit (Kannon Exit)]


 ↓ On foot (about 3 minutes)


[Ofuna Station West Exit Bus Terminal]


 ↓ Kanachu Bus

 ↓  船 27  : Sumitomo Electric circulation 

 ↓   or

 ↓  戸72  : Bound for Totsuka Bus Center


 ↓  (about 11 minutes)


[Get off at ​ Doukutsu Mae]


 ↓ On foot (about 1 minute)


[Josenji Taya Cave] Arrival

 ② Using JR Totsuka Station 


[JR Totsuka Station (West Exit)]

↓ On foot (about 1 minute)

[Totsuka Bus Center]

↓ Kanachu Bus

↓  戸 72 : Bound for  Ofuna Station West Exit

↓ (about 18 minutes)

[Get off at ​ Doukutsu Mae]

↓ On foot (about 1 minute)

[Josenji Taya Cave] Arrival


[Using a private car]

Private pay parking is available on the other side of the road in front of Josenji.

If you arrive by car, please park in this pay parking lot.

Please pay the parking fee at the Taya Cave 'reception desk' by the main hall of Josen-ji.

Characteristics of TAYA Cave

Fig1. Geological map around Taya Cave

( 1:200,000 Seamless Geological Map of Japa retouched. )


Fig2. Straight rectangle

© Copyright

Fig3. 洞内で観察できる貝の化石


Fig4. 洞内の宗教美術


(1) Total length (measured on plan survey map of Cad)

  • Viewing route: approx. 245 m

  • Closed area: approx. 325 m

  • Total length: approx. 570 m

  • Based on survey results, stairways and ramps are measured in plane projection distance, measured on Cad.


(2) Cave structure

  • Complex planar shape.

  • Complex cross-sectional configuration. (3-layered structure with complex intricacies.)

  • It can be said that the surveying and construction techniques are very sophisticated.

(3) Soil type and geology

  • Cenozoic Era - Quaternary Period - Middle Pleistocene Epoch (Fig 1) - Sagami Group - Naganuma Formation [1] (formed between about 700,000 and 150,000 years ago. Marine sediment )

[1] Naganuma Formation: 

The lowest part of the Middle Pleistocene Epoch Sagami Group, which is formed along the Kashio River in Naganuma-cho, Sakae-ku, Yokohama, at the northern end of the Miura Peninsula.

( Reference: Shogakukan Nippon Encyclopaedia (Nipponica)).

  • Wet conditions must be sustained. (Results of sample experiments, Saitama University).


(4) Plastering hypothesis.

  • The tunnels have a clean, straight rectangular cross-section (Fig. 2). From the viewpoint of the construction technique of excavation, it is difficult to continue excavating the same rectangular cross-section shaped by direct excavation of the cave tunnels for a long length of time. It is possible that the rectangular cross section is finished neatly by plastering.

(Even in modern tunneling, internal shaped sections are done after rough excavation.)

  • There are no shells (xenobiotic) found in the relief area.

(The formations here contain many fossil shells. It can be suggested that the relief was sculpted after plastering to create a canvas.)

(5) Cave environment.

  • Temperature and humidity are almost constant throughout the year.

(cool in summer and warm in winter; the temperature is between 16°C and 18°C, but has been rising in recent years).

  • Water seeps out from everywhere.


  • The soil is comparatively soft, but hard when compressed with water.

(Characteristics of the Naganuma Formation)

  • When there is heavy rainfall, the inner ceiling often becomes stripped.

(There is a possibility that water channels have already formed.)


(6) Religious art.

  • It can be considered that the modeling was done by experts in religious art.

  • The reliefs can be considered to be the work of highly skilled wood carvers.

(Can be considered to be similar to the technique of transom openwork in wooden architecture.)

  • Some of the relief sculptured after the middle of the Edo period.

  • On the wall of the dome of the 88 sacred sites in Shikoku, there is a inscription "Bunkyu 2-nen" (completed in 1862).

(Bunkyu 2 = 1862, Ikamugi Incident, Sakamoto Ryoma's defection from the clan).

  • Need to investigate detailed records and inscriptions on all reliefs.

(7) Function.

  • Training cave for Shingon esoteric Buddhism. (Still a training site for monks at present.)

  • Sacred sites that are copies of the three major sacred sites in Japan (100 Kannon statues in Saigoku, Chichibu and Bando).

  • Sacred sites that are copies of the 88 Kannon statues of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

  • Copy mausoleums of the 'Koyasan Okunoin' (tombs of Kobo Daishi at Koyasan in the Shingon sect of Buddhism).

  • By walking through this cave, you will have toured all the religious sites in Japan.

TAYA Cave Map
Cultural Property Registration
文化財登録状況 田谷の洞窟の文化財レベルって?
  • Type of Cultural Property:  Yokohama City Registered Area Historic Site

  • Type:             historical site

  • Date of registration:       November 1, 1990

  • Total length:      540 m (total length about 570 m on Cad at survey)

  • Formation:        Naganuma Formation

  • 11 dome-shaped space in this cave

History of TAYA Cave
歴史 田谷の洞窟の歴史って?

     The cave of Taya is said to have been from the Kamakura period. In one theory, It is said that this cave is related with a SAMURAI , "Saburo Yoshihide ASAHINA" , who is the third son of "Yoshimori WADA" , who was the best warrior of the General "Yoritomo MINAMOTO". If this story is correct, it means that the cave of Taya exists since about 800 years before. However, it can not be said that it was the current form. It is not clarified where the oldest part is. Construction age has various opinions and is officially unknown.

     Also, the age of relief carved in the cave is thought to be more new. An inscription called "Bunkyu 2 years" is carved next to one of reliefs in the room of the Shikoku eighty-eight sacred place. It is thought that those reliefs are about 150 years ago because the second year of Bunkyu is the year 1862 AD.

Art Reliefs
レリーフ 田谷の洞窟の浮彫レリーフって?

About 250 reliefs in this cave

All reliefs is on the walls & ceilings above your head.

阿形獅子 (9).jpg

​The world of esoteric Buddhism

A trip to the three major sacred places in Japan

Japan 100 Kannon Pilgrimage Trip

Chichibu 34 Kannon & Temples

Saigoku 33 Kannon & Temples

Bando 33 Kannon & Temples

秩父三十四霊場1~2 (2).jpg

​Underground copy sacred place

A trip to the 88 sacred places of Shikoku-Area

88 Temples close to Koubou-Daishi Kukai


​Pilgrimage trip

A trip to the Koya-san OKU NO IN inner temple  

A trip to meet with Koubou-Daishi Kukai


​A trip to Kobo Daishi

Find something in your mind through 250m ... and then ...

You will be some changed ... and go back outside ...


Meet Rakan

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