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Field Guide

Learn about the formation of the Japanese Archipelago

Visit indoor and outdoor museums to learn about the birth of the Japanese Archipelago, the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line, and more.

Itoigawa Coast, Miyama Park and Museums, ISTL and Salt Trail (North)
4 hrs

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Route Itoigawa Coast Geosite Miyama Park and Museums Geosite ISTL and Salt Trail (North) Geosite Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line and Salt Trail North area Field guide Itoigawa Coast Field guide Miyama Park and the museum Field guide Fossa Magna Museum Pamphlet A. Start:Itoigawa Station Difficulty: Easy. Open! B. Itoigawa (Jade) Coast A pebble beach with a wide variety of stones the Itoigawa Coast is an excellent place to hunt for and collect rocks. Jade pebbles which are carried down the Himekawa River are also occasionally deposited here by sea currents. With luck, you may find some. C. Yuhigaoka Park The observation tower here offers a fantastic view of the Sea of Japan. Just below the park are Himekawa Port and Itoigawa Fishing Port, where fresh fish are brought in daily from the Sea of Japan. The park’s name means “Sunset Hill” and not without reason—the view of the sunset here is one of the best. D. Fossa Magna Museum This earth sciences museum features exhibits about the birth of the earth, rare and beautiful minerals, the Fossa Magna, jade, and Dr. Naumann, who is said to be the Father of Japanese Geology. It is a must for anybody visiting the Geopark. Miyama Park Observation Tower This observation tower, built atop a water tower, offers an excellent view of the Northern Alps, the Kubiki Mountains, the Umidani Mountains, and the Himekawa River. These mountains straddle the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line and vary widely in age. Fossa Magna Park This “outdoor museum” is actually the site where the word “geopark” was first coined. Centered upon an exposed portion of the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line which splits Japan onto two continents, the Fossa Magna Park also features a number of examples of pillow lava formed when this area was at the bottom of the Fossa Magna Sea. E. Goal: Itoigawa Station