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The foundation of the Japanese Geoparks Network

Source:Source:3rd International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks Proceedings  Published:Jul 29,2008



The Japanese Geoparks Network, comprised of 13 zones, was established in December, 2007. The zones are candidates for the Global Geoparks Network. In case some of them are designated for the global network, they will be the first cases from the Island Arc area of the world. Most areas are related with volcanoes, hot-springs, and very good sceneries caused from the Island Arc.

The following zones will be part of the Japanese network:

  • Shirataki (the world-class obsidian ruins), eastern Hokkaido,
  • Mt. Apoi (serpentinite, olivinite, and mélange), central Hokkaido,
  • Lake Toya and Mt. Usu (Usu volcano and hot springs), southern Hokkaido,
  • Izura (weathered coast and cradle of Japanese-style painting), central Honshu,
  • Odawara/Hakone (Hakone volcano and hot springs), central Honshu,
  • Itoigawa (Itoigawa-Shizuoka tectonic line and jades), central Honshu,
  • “South Alps” (accretionary wedge with periglacier deposit), central Honshu,
  • SanIn (subsiding coast of Volcanic rocks), western Honshu,
  • Iwami (silver mine, World Heritage), western Honshu,
  • Shikoku (Paleozoic strata and fossils, and accretionary wedge), all Shikoku,
  • Shimabara Peninsula (active volcanoes and hot springs), northern Kyushu,
  • Goshoura (Mesozoic strata and dinosaur fossils),central Kyushu, and
  • Kirishima (volcanoes and hot springs), southern Kyushu.

Japanese approach toward establishment of Geoparks started late comparing with China and Malaysia. At first GUPI and GSJ selected 100 geosites from Japan. Japanese people knew there are many geological important localities in Japan and there are movements of founding Geoparks in the world. On these movements, the Council of Japanese Geoparks was set and tried to found Japanese Geoparks Network.

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