Underground quarry lake popular amongst tourists

Guided tours have become popular at a former stone quarry in Utsunomiya, Japan. According to a report by The Japan Times, four to six tours are held per month and quickly booked out within a few hours of being publicised.

It was said the quarry, estimated to be up to 2000m2 in size, had closed 30 years ago and that its lake had been formed by a combination of rainwater and groundwater.

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}Fitted with lifejackets, tourists are able to traverse the reportedly 4m deep lake in rubber boats, experiencing a “place without sound or light”.

They are also taken through some of the quarry’s passageways, although the report suggested the full layout of the extensive tunnel system was unknown due to the random nature of their excavation.

The quarry is located in the Oya region, which features a localised igneous rock. “Oya stone” was reportedly formed from the lava and ash of volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, its soft texture said to be easily carved and processed.

However, it was reported that the quarries in the Oya region, once numbered at more than 200, had slowly died off due to the emergence of less expensive alternatives to quarrying Oya stone, and that fewer than 10 sites are in operation today.

The local community was said to have been considering how to utilise the now inactive sites, with the underground lake tours having been started by a group of local businesses in 2014.

Another site in the area has been converted into a well-known historical museum, whose quarried caverns are said to frequently be used as a setting for film and music videos.

The full report from The Japan Times is available at

More reading
‘Haunted’ quarry set to scare
Quarry gains international fame through TV show
Mountain resort to be built across quarry void
Quarry site given golf makeover
Bath stone demand reopens mothballed quarry

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend