Excursion C (Itoigawa)

Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark, One of the First Global Geoparks in Japan

  • Contacts: Tsuyoshi ITO (mail to: ito-t@aist.go.jp), Yousuke IBARAKI, Atsushi MATSUOKA
  • Price: 8,000JPY/person
  • Allowable participants: Min 20, Max 25

The Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark in Itoigawa, southwestern Niigata Prefecture, has been a currently member of the Global Geopark Network since 2009 and one of the first global geoparks in Japan. Twenty-four geosites have been set in this geopark and various rocks in several ages can be observed. In this excursion, we visit two geosites: the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge and the Fossa Magana Museum. Large limestone masses, Mt. Myojo, is exposed in the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Geosite. The Fossa Magna Museum, renewed in March 2016, displays several exhibits, such as jade and Dr. H. E. Naumann known as a discoverer of the Fossa Magna. In the former geosite, we also admire the tinted autumn foliage, which leaves turn color from green to brilliant scarlets and golds.

In the afternoon, we visit the TsubameSanjo Regional Industries Promotion Center, located near JR TsubameSanjo Station in Sanjo City. Sanjo City and neighbor Tsubame City are the top metalware production area in Japan. The Tsubame industry deals mainly with spoon and fork using hand-hammered copperware skill. In addition, stainless steel pots and kettles are also produced in this area by using the artisanal skill. The Sanjo industry products mainly kitchen knives using traditional smithing skill. The center sells special products made by Tsubame and Sanjo cities.

  • Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark [link]
  • TsubameSanjo Regional Industries Promotion Center [link]


Carboniferous–Permian limestones, a view from Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Geosite (Stop 1)


Mt. Myojo and Takanami Pond (place for lunch)


Mid-day Excrusion C (Itoigawa)
Time Stops Events Inclusive
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Leave Niigata Station
10:30 Stop 1 Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Geosite
11:30 Lunch near Lake Takanoi lunch
12:30 Stop 2 The Fossa Magna Museum
14:00 Leave the Fossa Magna Museum
16:00 Stop 3 The TsubameSanjo Regional
Industries Promotion Center
18:00 Arrive at Niigata Station