About the Speleological Research Institute of Japan

1. History of the Institute

An academic investigation of Ryusendo Cave was carried out in 1938 (Showa 13), the year when Ryusendo Cave was designated as a national natural treasure ("The Spring-water Cave and Bats in Iwaizumi"). Since then, however, little investigation was undertaken. In 1959 (Showa 34) Japan’s then leading speleologists and potholers comprehensively investigated the cave.Having established its great value as an academic and tourism asset, their priority was continuing research, conservation and management of Ryusendo Cave and so, with the support of Iwaizumi Town, the Speleological Research Institute of Japan was established in 1967 (Showa 42) and continues to the present.

2. Main activities

Although there are no resident researchers in the Institute, those specialized in geology/geography, paleontology, hydrology, biology, archaeology, exploration, diving, etc., whose research interests center on Ryusendo, the karst and/or other caves in Iwaizumi Town, have been registered as the Institute's researchers and have been carrying out research, investigations and explorations in their respective fields. In addition, we have also organized events specially for the people of Iwaizumi town, such as the "Observation tour of Ryusendo’s water source".

3. Results of research and investigations

The results of our research and investigations are published every March in "Annals of the Speleological Research Institute of Japan". For the contents, please refer to the following full list of publications. Regarding availability of back issues, please contact us at the Institute, care of the Ryusendo Office.