Geopark is “park of the earth”

How was the landscape in front of you?
The mountains, hills, beaches, etc. that you usually see in front of you
The fact is that it was created over a long period of tens of thousands of years.
Rich forests and animals, and our lives have also been fostered in it.
There are various “earth things” hidden behind it.
A precious place where you can enjoy learning about the connection between living earth and life.
That is “geopark”.

Where mountains and lakes are born

Lake Toya was born from a huge eruption about 110,000 years ago from now
“Usu Mountain” was also born by repeating the eruption twenty to ten thousand years ago.
Mt. Usu has recently erupted once every 20-30 years,
Look at “crust” and “broken buildings and roads” on the surrounding walkways,
You can feel the power of volcanoes and disasters.

Geopark is the land of grace

The area around Mt. Usu has a long history of drinking water and food
Many “remains of Jomon and Ainu people” are found.
Even now, Mt. Usu gives us “hot spring”, “delicious food”, “beautiful scenery”, etc.
It gives us various “blessings of the volcano”.


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Toya Caldera

Toya Caldera

About 110,000 years ago, a huge eruption occurred in the area where the present Lake Toya is located. The huge pyroclastic flow that arose with the eruption spreads while burning out the surrounding area and fills the area to create a flat hilly topography. Currently, this topography is used, and a wide range of sunny upland fields and pastures are spread. Water accumulated in the caldera about 10 km in diameter formed by this eruption became the present Lake Toya. Eruptions of this magnitude are the largest eruptions in island arc systems such as the Japanese Archipelago, and have only occurred nine times in the past 120,000 years on the Japanese Archipelago.

Nakajima

Nakajima

About 50,000 years ago, volcanic activity resumed in the central part of Lake Toya, creating many lava domes and pyroclastic hills. Since 11 volcanoes have been identified so far including those at the bottom of the lake, it can be seen that eruptions have occurred repeatedly. Of these lava domes, the four islands that came out of the water are collectively called Nakajima. Nakajima is equipped with a pleasure boat and a walkway to understand the state of volcanic activity, and an Ezoshika with its own ecology adapted to the environment of the island is inhabited, and if you are lucky you can meet on the walkway is there.

Living of people of Jomon

Living of people of Jomon

Enjoy the blessings of the forest, the sea, and the spring water brought up by the volcanic activity of Lake Toya and Mt. Usu, and people have always lived in this area. One of Japan’s most important monuments remains in this geopark area, and you can learn the life of Jomon culture, which is a prehistoric culture unique to Japan that has formed a sustainable society for over 10,000 years.

アイヌの人々のくらし

Ainu people’s lives

In the area of this geopark, many proofs of the life of the people of Ainu who are indigenous people of Hokkaido are left. It is a valuable site where you can feel the thoughts of those who have lived with the earth and nature, such as the “Chashi” which is considered to be a hina or festival ground.

Usu Zenkoji Temple / Zenkoji Temple Natural Park

Usu Zenkoji Temple / Zenkoji Temple Natural Park

Usu Zenko-ji Temple, which is reported to have been opened in 826, is located at the foot of Mt. Usu, and keeps many records of the appearance and disaster of Mt. The clear record plays an important role in possible disaster assumption and regional disaster reduction enlightenment.
In addition, there is a walkway where you can enjoy seasonal plants in the precincts where various large and small lava clusters are scattered by the debris avalanche of Mt. Usu, and there is a cherry blossom called “Ishiwari Sakura” whose roots are dropped in the cracks of lava. It is a famous place.

Hot spring

Hot spring

Lake Toya Onsen and Sobetsu Onsen were created by the eruption of 1910. At the time of this eruption, seismographs were brought to volcanoes in the world for the first time in the world and observation was carried out, so it is said to be the birthplace of modern volcanology.
The hot spring is an iconic theme as synonymous with the “Geo grace” of the Lake Toya Usuyama Geopark, and there are many other hot springs in the area.

Showa Shinzan and Mimatsu Masao Memorial Hall

Showa Shinzan and Mimatsu Masao Memorial Hall

One of the locals who watched the eruption of Mount Usu during the difficult times of World War II is Masao Mimatsu, who was then the postmaster. At the time of the 1943-45 eruption when Showa Shinzan was born, we observed the volcanic activity closely and continued to sketch the progress of the volcanic growth and put it together in one table, leaving many excellent records. This observation record, called the “Mitumatsu diagram”, was published at the 1948 International Volcanic Society, and was praised by the world’s volcanologists. The Masao Mimatsu Memorial Hall was established at the foot of Showa Shinzan, in order to preserve the achievements of Mr. Mimatsu, who watched the three eruptions of Mt.

Lake Toya Art Center / Lake Toya Sculpture Park

Lake Toya Art Center / Lake Toya Sculpture Park

In front of Lake Toya, the works of Hokkaido’s leading sculptor Sunozawa Vicki, the works of the small-sculptural public offering “Toya Mura International Sculpture Biennale”, the first edition of Japanese modern and contemporary literature, and a limited edition collection, In addition, it displays photographs of Narikawa Banri, who served as the UNESCO World Heritage Principal Photographer.
The Toya Guruto Sculpture Park is an outdoor sculpture park where people and nature meet each other, with 58 sculptures installed on the shore of Lake Toya. You can enjoy the fusion of the scenery of Toya caldera and art.
Toya lake tour sculpture park setting MAP