What is DEATH to you?
There are countless thoughts as we age.
Those times when you ask yourself these:
1. Is there something I missed?
2. What should I organize ahead?
3. Are my savings adequately?
And the list goes on until I reach a question I rarely ask myself - Am I ready to die? What it's like to die?
I got curious and tried to figure out the answer to my question.
Tenacious as I am, I searched creepy locales near me and read blogs from other adventurers who visited the sites. A couple of exciting spots got my attention, and I chose the one I think could gratify my novelty.
Okutama area is in Tokyo. It left me with the impression that there's more wonder in a metropolis after I climbed Mount Mitake and the Rock Garden a day after my birthday. So, I decided to go to Nippara Limestone Cave.
Described as mystical, this natural monument in Tokyo has a distance of 1270 meters and an altitude of 134 meters. By bus and car is the shared transportation to get there.
The temperature inside the cave is 11 degrees celsius, so a hoodie was my preferred fashion on a cloudy June day.
Drips of water echo beautifully and unexpectedly scary compared to all the caves I had been - it was deep, quiet, and narrow.
The silence dominating the area made me feel the urge to complete the course wherein that time I described as survival.
Japan is famous for the random occurrence of earthquakes. Thinking of that alone gave me the inevitable anxiety, and adrenaline stayed in me for some time.
"What if an earthquake happens? How can I get out?"
"Where is the exit?"
My initial reaction was striding long and fast, but not long enough until I reached the cave's center.
I was in complete awe. I was utterly stunned by its natural beauty.
The place gave me the answer to the question I forgot to mention: "What is it like buried 6 feet under?"
I stood and felt everything. At that moment, multiple emotions rushed into me - fear, sadness, helplessness, loneliness, and an eerie feeling.
Maybe we won't feel this when we are inside the coffin since I haven't met someone who rose from the dead and told their feelings. That would be pretty scary if that happens. Or maybe only the living could feel these.
Why do I reach the thought of death today?
Today is the day I lost my father. My mom left us three years ago; on this day, I am writing this blog, too.
I live overseas and haven't visited their grave for three years since the pandemic started.
Reminiscing our memories eventually ended on a rare curiosity.
Contemplating about life, I realized some things:
1. The older we get, the lesser we converse. I see children talk and laugh freely and innocently. Why not be like mature children?
2. Attend to your curiosity. Stay foolish.
3. No matter how you prepare for death, there's always a slight fear. Fear of leaving your loved ones and life not enjoyed at least.
4. Fear teaches you a lesson only you could comprehend. Face fears repeatedly.
5. We all have heartbreaks in life, but losing a loved one is a kind of heartbreak similar to death. Years may have passed, but the pain lingers like no other. Incomparable.
Some of you are reading this lost their special someone and have difficulty bouncing back. You are not alone. I have my hiccups, too.
I hope we can get the stamina to take care of ourselves gradually. It won't be easy, but starting and remaining consistent is worth the shot.
(I sweat a lot on these steps. I was leaning forward.) LOL.
Lastly, I am glad to have visited this cave. Until today, my parents taught me about death uniquely (through this place). They never fail me to guide me in life.
I hope you enjoyed this. I hope you can visit this place as well.
Thanks for reading, and take care.
Here are the details:
Nippara Limestone Caves
Address: 1052 Nippara, Okutama, Nishitama District, Tokyo, Tokyo 198-0211
Hours: Closes soon ⋅ 5 PM ⋅ Opens 9 AM Sat