We designed itineraries that showcase some of our favorite geosites combined with popular tourist attractions.
We hope they inspire more people to experience all the charm that Sado Geopark has to offer!
Approximately 13 million years ago, large-scale volcanic activity occurred on the floor of the Japan Sea. The black lava that erupted during this time formed the land of the Ogi Peninsula. The unique landscape created by uplift and the erosion of the peninsula has been designated a national natural monument and a place of scenic beauty. Enjoy this magnificent scenic landscape. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing when walking on the coast because rocks are exposed in many places.
Get all the information you need about the Ogi Peninsula area. A floor map shows the location of geosites of the area, giving you an idea of the route.
Yajima was named as such because people of the area harvest high quality bamboo to make arrows (“ya” means arrow and “jima” means island in Japanese). As for Kyojima, its name came from the story of a disciple of Nichiren. The disciple, named Nichiro, was carrying a letter to release Nichiren when he was caught in a storm and drifted ashore to the island, where he spent the night.
※ The island is currently inaccessible due to shoreline erosion.
Approximately 13 to 14 million years ago, submarine volcanoes were active on the Ogi Peninsula. The Shukunegi Coast was formed by stones and volcanic ash ejected from the deep undersea volcanoes. This volcanic activity uplifted the land, creating the landforms we see today.
The bridge was built 40 meters above the cove of Fukaura. From the bridge, you can see the cobalt blue sea, the coastline formed by the uplift of black lava from the seafloor, and the terraced rice field landforms.
This lighthouse is located at the westernmost tip of Sado Island. The flat Sawasaki coast is part of the scenic Sado Ogi Coast. It is made of lava, evidence of undersea volcanic activity. Takenoko Iwa, bamboo shoot rocks, can also be found here. Please keep a certain distance from the cliffs because there is a risk of rock fall.
Many olive colored peridots can be found in this rock.
Miko iwa Rock was formed when magma slowly cooled and hardened in the strata of the seafloor, and became shaped like pillars (columnar joints). This rock is scattered with olive-colored mineral called olivine.
This rock was formed when lava flowed to the seafloor due to undersea volcanic activity long ago, cooled, and hardened. New, hot lava was repeatedly piled on top of the cooled lava, and this process was repeated. It is also called “giraffe iwa rock” because of its white cloud-shaped pattern that makes it look like a giraffe.
Sado Island has two distinctive mountain ranges – Osado in the north and Kosado in the south, cradling the wide open Kuninaka plain and Lake Kamo in between. There is a close relationship between the formation of the plain and the formation of Lake Kamo. By the end of this course, participants will understand how Kuninaka Plain and Lake Kamo were formed, and how generations of residents have cultivated the local specialties of Sado Island, such as rice.
The stone mill is one technology among many that resulted in the prosperity of the Sado Gold and Silver Mines. Just like gold ore, the rock used for stone mills was produced on Sado Island, and originally created by the geological activities of the earth!
In this walking course, we will learn about the history of the Aikawa Gold and Silver Mines and look for stones that were used to grind ore. If you want to have something sweet, you can stop by Kisuke, a confectionery with a variety of Japanese and Western options. You can also enjoy sweets in the eat-in space. When walking on the coast, you'll find many exposed and sometimes jagged rocks, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to move in.
Lake Kamo, the largest lake in Niigata Prefecture, is a brackish lake with a mixture of fresh water and sea water. Oyster cultivation is thriving, and many oyster rafts float on the lake. The lake is home to a rich ecosystem. It is possible to get to each point by car, but we recommend going around the lake by bicycle to enjoy the beautiful scenery at your own pace.
Why not explore Ryotsu town with a Geopark guide for an hour or so before catching your ferry back to the mainland? Ryotsu Minato is a coastal town originally built on reclaimed land. During the short tour, you can enjoy a view of Mt. Kimpoku from the side of the oyster hut lined Lake Kamo, and learn about the long, narrow sand bar that separates the lake from the open sea.
How did land shaped by the forces of the sea and earthquakes influence people's lives? Walk on the Shukunegi Coast and explore the links between geology and human activity.