What's a Geopark?

A journey of bonding and learning about the earth, and a place to enjoy geotourism

A geopark is a journey of bonding and learning about the earth, and a place to enjoy geotourism. It is a place where you can take a close look at mountains and rivers, learn about how they were formed, and think about their links to the ecosystem and human life. A geopark is where you think about earth as a whole, from the ground at your feet to the boulders, and all the way into space; from billions of years into the past all the way into the future; and about the mountains, rivers, oceans, the atmosphere, and the organisms that live within it.

Specifically, what can I enjoy?

Go on a guided tour!

You can pick up a map or guidebook at the visitor kiosk or at the museum to explore the geopark’s many features on your own, but we recommend you take a guided tour. You are sure to discover something you have never thought about before!

Although we look at the mountains and rivers around us without much thought, each of them has a unique history that makes them look like they do today. A commonplace cliff may be a part of a metaphoric ancient scroll that is crucial to unravelling the history of the earth. Once we realize this, the scenery around us begins to appear in a whole new light as an irreplaceable, wonderful thing. Isn’t that exciting?

That sounds kind of difficult.

What’s interesting about the geoworld is how much you can understand from a combination of visuals and simple theory. If you look carefully with your own eyes, and think with a little help from the guide’s explanations, you shouldn’t find it too difficult.

We recommend you give the guide a listen outdoors. Although it would depend on how well you and the guide get along, we’re sure you will have an enjoyable time. Of all the earthquakes in the world greater than a magnitude of 6, about ten percent occur in Japan. There are also many active volcanoes in Japan. Additionally, due to its steep slopes and high levels of precipitation, Japan experiences landslide disasters all the time.

Japan is one of the countries where geographical knowledge is most useful. We recommend you nurture your understanding of the earth. It’s sure to come in handy to protect yourself, too.

Where can I find geoparks?

You can find quality geoparks which are part of the Global Geopark Network in 127 locations, centred in Europe and China. In Japan as of May 2017, 8 locations have become recognized members of the Global Geopark Network: Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano, Itoigawa, San’in Kaigan, Unzen Volcanic Area, Muroto, Oki Islands, Aso and Mt. Apoi. There are many other regions actively working to become members through geotours and other activities, with a focus on museums and other facilities. In Japan, geotourism is already ready for you to enjoy.