ITOIGAWA GEOPARK (Japan)
Itoigawa Geopark is located near the centre of Honshu Island in the Niigata prefecture, Japan. The geopark meets the Sea of Japan in the north, where the mountains of the Japan Alps sink into the sea, and is bordered on the south by high mountains.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The whole Itoigawa city area has been designated a Geopark. The phrase "Department store of geology" simply, but precisely, describes Itoigawa Geopark. Itoigawa Geopark sits at the northern terminus of a major fault line, the Itoigawa - Shizuoka Tectonic Line, which geologically separates east and west Japan. Thanks to this feature, the age of the rocks within the Geopark spans over 500 million years. Interestingly, the geological boundary coincides with cultural border of the west and east Japan, mixed up in Itoigawa area. In addition, Itoigawa includes the land from sea level to nearly 3,000 m, thus creating a wide variety of geology and topography, as well as richness in plant and animal life. This allows us to see how geology strongly influenced the culture, history and life of the people of Itoigawa Geopark.
The main information centre is Fossa Magna Museum which is specialised in rocks and minerals. There are 24 separate Geosites within the Geopark that one can enjoy. Each Geosite presents many Geo-points, where one can observe the special features of each Geosite and one is sure to find something fascinating.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States