I proudly announce you; we have a crystal cave in our village!
It is a shame that this crystal cave has been almost ignored by general local villagers.
Villagers just take it for granted that it exists here.
I also was no exception,until I have got an opportunity to interview the owner 3 years ago.
He is…well,villagers all know him. He is an inn-keeper of Yunuma Kosen here.
Tadao-san is also a breeder of the Kawakami dog.
Kawakami dogs are brand dogs in our village which used to be hunter dogs until 60 years ago.
They almost extincted once, but now they are popular among dog lovers througout the country thanks to the village breeders.
Yunuma Kosen is a lodging with a bath of a mineral spring. (Only the water is cooler than 25 degrees celsius when it springs.Of course they heat the water to make a nice bath, but legally speaking it is called “kosen”, and not “onsen” if the water temperature when it springs is below 25C.)
One day some 40 years ago, the owner thought of gold-mining here. ( In the inner part of Kawkami vil.,gold was mined through 15~19 centuries.)
It turned out that he struck crystal instead of gold. But the crystals were precious green colored heart shaped crystals which have found only in Japan so far,so he was excited.
Then he dug a pathway through the place where he had found the crystal so that people can see the vein by walking through it.
The true worth of this cave is that it shows crystal in the exact place where it originally located,and still locates. The owner thought it better to show the crystal in its original state rather than digging it out and display it in showcase.
When I sometimes take guests to the cave, I ask the owner to come along and lecture us on anything he is recently interested in.
The dogs would appear from nowhere to lead us to the cave entrance.
Then he would tell us about how into a blank space between minerals came air, water, and gas,and eventually how crystal was gethered to be crystal.( long before the humankind was born,of course)
And how all the things ,including ourselves are originally made from minerals.