The folks at popular Japanese travel site Another Tokyo have given us the itch to go traveling again. We’ve gotten used to drooling over their cool photos of off the beaten track places around Tokyo, but this time they’ve branched out a bit — all the way to tropical, sunny Okinawa!

Although we have to give the Tokyo area credit for its share of unconventional cafes, you’ll be blown away by the photos from this “Cave Cafe” in Okinawa, which is located inside – you guessed it – an actual cave! If you’re traveling to Okinawa soon and looking to do something a bit extraordinary, be sure to add this spot to your sightseeing list. After all, how many people can claim to have sipped coffee in a cave?

Our destination is located within Okinawa Prefecture’s “Okinawa World” theme park, which aims to present the local culture and history to visitors. Conveniently, it can be reached within 30 minutes by car from prefectural capital Naha City. One of the main attractions of the park is the 5 km-long Gyokusendo Cave, which houses the Cave Cafe. The cafe is also the starting point for guided tours of the Valley of Gangala, which introduce other natural wonders of the area. However, you don’t need to reserve a spot on the tour in order to enjoy the cafe.



Visitors to the cafe will be impressed to see ancient geological formations up close and personal. Remember from science class the difference between stalactites and stalagmites? Stalactites grow downwards from the roof of a cave, while stalagmites grow upwards from the floor (a good way to remember this is stalaCtite=ceiling; stalaGmite=ground). Their rate of growth varies depending on the particular conditions of the location, but our source indicates that it takes a stalactite approximately 70 years to grow a single centimeter. We can only imagine how many thousands of years it must have taken for them to form in this cave!


Tourists are not allowed to explore the cave by themselves due to the possibility of falling rocks, but they are welcome to join the Valley of Gangala guided tours which are held four times per day. Admissions to the tour costs 2,200 yen (US$21.45), and can be made on Gangala’s official website (Japanese only, sorry).



Besides typical cafe drinks, the cafe sells an interesting set called “chest hair of the ancients.” But never fear, it’s really just a special kind of Okinawan seaweed!

▼One of the most unappetizing marketing strategies we’ve ever seen…


For 350 yen ($3.41) you can also buy coffee roasted with weathered coral, which is chock-full of minerals from the underground water found in the cave. Pair it with some biscuit-like Okinawan chinsuko to really enjoy the local flavor.


▼Pop quiz: Stalactites, or stalagmites?


As a bonus, the Cave Cafe also occasionally hosts parties and live concerts! Now we’ve really gotta go…better start saving those one-yen coins!

Another Tokyo has hinted that they will post about more fun places from Okinawa in the near future, so we’ll let you know if anything else catches our eye!

Cave Cafe Travel Information
Access: 30 minutes by car from Naha City
Address: 202 Maekawa, Tamagusuku, Nanjo City, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone number: 098-948-4192
Hours: 10AM-6PM
Menu: Official site (Japanese only)

Source/Images: Another Tokyo