Last week, Google Japan took its popular Street View in a new direction: underground. The search giant commissioned a photography crew to explore a centuries-old mine and popular limestone cave in Japan. The result is a stunning 360-degree photo tour that gives people around the world the opportunity to visit sites they probably wouldn't see otherwise.
This is the entrance to the Okubo-mabu mineshaft at Omori, Ota City in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan. The Iwami Ginzan silver mines, one of the largest in the world during the 16th and 17th centuries, officially became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
The pathway to the Akiyoshi-do cavern in the Yamaguchi Prefecture seems very simple from the outside. A brown bridge leading to the cave hangs over some very beautiful blue water. This isn't your ordinary Google Street View journey!
The public area of the cave stretches about a mile (10 miles of cave in total are nearby), with huge stalactite walls like this found throughout the walkway. One column (not pictured) stretches over 49 feet tall, with a diameter around 13 feet.