Old Amagi Tunnel

A famous stone tunnel known as the setting for “The Dancing Girl of Izu” by the Nobel Prize winning author, Yasunari Kawabata

This is Japan’s longest stone tunnel with a length of 445.5m. It is also a popular spot for hikers, located in the middle of the “Odoriko Hodou” (Dancing Girl Path) connecting to the Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls.
旧天城トンネル, Yugashima, Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
(0558) 85-1056


A stone tunnel that retains its image of the past

The Old Amagi Tunnel stands quietly within the mountains lush with beech and maple trees. Even in the summer, the area is refreshingly cool and it feels like the past has come to the present. The Amagi Tunnel, which boasts a total length of 445.5m, was completed in 1904 after 13 years of construction. The entire tunnel, including the arch and the sides, consists of quarried stone, and it is currently Japan’s longest surviving stone tunnel. The entrance and interior of this horseshoe-shaped tunnel is notable for its extremely profound construction. Praised as one of Japan’s historic tunnels representing the end of the Meiji Era, it became the first road tunnel in the nation in 2001 to be designated nationally as an Important Cultural Property.

The popular hiking course through the setting of “The Dancing Girl of Izu”

The Old Amagi Tunnel was the setting for Yasunari Kawabata’s novel “The Dancing Girl of Izu”. With the entire region thriving as the Amagi National Forest, it truly retains the mood of the old past. As well, the tunnel is at the midpoint of the 16.2km Odori Hodou Footpath which links Joren-no-Taki Waterfall and the Kawazu Nanadaru Waterfalls. Although it has now become easy to get over the Amagi Ridge thanks to Amagi Tunnel, there are also many visitors who enjoy hiking in the old way. On the way to Old Amagi Tunnel from Jouren Falls, there are interesting sights to see such as the literature monument about “The Dancing Girl of Izu” and Himuro Enchi (Icehouse Garden) where natural ice was created by using the severe cold between the Taisho and Showa Eras. Once you get out of the tunnel, there is a meandering hill road which also shows up in the novel. Also, crossing over Kantenkyo Bridge, which is mentioned in the famous enka song “Amagi Goe” (Crossing Amagi), will take you to the beautiful scenery of Nikaidaru (Nikai Falls). Going further along the forest road, you will arrive at Kawazu Nanadaru Falls. One of those waterfalls, Shokeidaru, makes for a particularly fine spot for photography.

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