On one side of Hamada Beach, there is a place where the harsh waves of the Pacific Ocean have hollowed out a sea cave in the rock.
With chi- meaning thousand and -kura meaning sit, the cave was named for its size (perhaps large enough to fit 1,000 people).
I admired the grandeur of its appearance, like a work of art, then felt an immediate change from the tropical air when I stepped inside.
The interior of the cave bathed my body in coolness.
This was the sign that another mini-adventure had begun.
The inner space branched out into several spurs, each echoing back the soft refrain of the waves in a complex reverberation.
I stooped to avoid the low ceiling in areas as I walked around inside the cave, occasionally startled by drops of water and relying on my cell phone to see through the dim light.
The sound of the waves led me to a small open area where I came across a scene that made me think I had discovered something special.
Shafts of light piercing the darkness, echoes from the waves, cool, refreshing air, shapes in the rock sculpted by nature, the tide streaming in, and, beyond the mouth of the cave, the blue of the Pacific Ocean.
All of these elements combined to create a mystical setting.
Because of the tide, Chikura-no-Iwaya can only be entered for about two hours every day.
It's not the kind of place you can just go to any time you want.
I felt like this is exactly where once-in-a-lifetime experiences await.