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  • Nature and Best Views

Kotakigawa Jade Gorge

Named for the crystal clear Kotaki River which runs through it, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is a stunningly beautiful jade gorge at the base of Mt. Myojo (1188 m). It is one of Itoigawa's two jade gorges, alongside the Omigawa Jade Gorge. Discovered in 1938, the massive jade boulders strewn throughout this canyon astounded researchers as they were the first, and to this day the largest, discovery of natural jade in Japan. Today, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is protected as a National Natural Monument and its beauty is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.  Enjoy outstanding views of Mt. Myojo's limestone face and deep gorge below from the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Observation Deck or take a closer look along the riverbank at the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Revetment Park. In addition to walking and hiking trails, visitors can enjoy the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Fishing Park, Takanami-no-Ike Pond Highland Center, campgrounds and more. The Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is a National Natural Monument of Japan The collection, damage or abuse of minerals, plants or animals is strictly prohibited. Please help us as we preserve our natural heritage.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Tsukimizu-no-Ike Pond

Sacred Pond Famous for Wisteria Blossoms The forest surrounding Tsukimizu-no-Ike is filled with wild wisteria plants. When they bloom it is said that they are so dazzling that they block out the reflection of the moon on the water, giving this pond its name which means "The Pond Which Cannot See the Moon." A small shrine located in the middle of the pond, dedicated to the Goddess Benten. It is said to bless women with safe childbirth. A number of hiking trails around the pond take visitors on a tour of the many unusual boulders which are strewn about this mystical forest.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Fudotaki Falls

Sacred waterfalls deep in the mountains This 70m tall, 3-tiered waterfall is the focus of an ancient legend about a dragon-god said to live in its basin. It's said that if the basin is dirtied or goes cloudy, the valley below will flood with the dragon's wrath. The area around the waterfall features a park, footpath, campground and more and is a popular place to escape the heat during summer.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Takanami-no-Ike Pond

One of Itoigawa's most dazzling sights! Located near the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge, this pond is at an elevation of 540 m and is famous for the legends of a massive fish said to live in its waters. The area around the pond features walking trails, campgrounds, ground golf, boat rentals, a restaurant and more! Rental Fees: Boat (For 3 People):  1,050 yen for first 30 min, then 500 yen per 30 min Fishing Pole: 300 yen (half day) Ground Golf: 300 yen Ground Golf Equipment: 200 yen Frisbee: 200 yen Barbecue Supplies: Logs: 520 yen per bundle Charcoal: 520 yen per bag Visit here for information about the campsite.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Tottoko Rock

An unusual rock formation off the coast of Nou Next to Marine Dream Nou, this rock's name means 'Chicken Rock' in the Itoigawa Dialect of Japanese. The rock looks remarkably like a chicken and at the right time of the year even appears to be eating the setting sun! The sunset views here are breathtakingly beautiful and a popular subject of photographers.

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  • History and Culture
  • Nature and Best Views

Benten-iwa Rock

Sacred Rock and Symbol of the Nou Region This massive rock looms over the Nou Coast next to Route 8. Long worshiped by local sailors as a manifestation of the goddess of the sea, the lighthouse atop the rock continues to act as an important guide to safe harbor. The rock itself was formed at the bottom of the sea by an underwater volcano. The Akebonobashi Bridge connects the rock to shore and a small shrine on the rock is dedicated to Ichikushima, the goddess of the sea.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Omigawa Jade Gorge

 A National Natural Monument. Massive boulders of pristine white jade. The Omigawa Jade Gorge is a National Natural Monument where over 40 large boulders of pristine raw jade can be found. The Omigawa Jade Gorge is not as easily accessible as the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge, so be prepared to hike a little bit. The sheer size and beauty of the jade boulders here make it worth it! The Omigawa and Kotakigawa Jade Gorges are the two largest jade deposits in Japan. The jade in these gorges are considered national treasures and visitors are welcome to explore, touch and even climb on the jade boulders here.  The Omigawa Jade Gorge is a National Natural Monument of Japan The collection, damage or abuse of minerals, plants or animals is strictly prohibited. We ask for you cooperation in preserving our natural and cultural heritage for all to enjoy.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Cliffs of Oyashirazu & Oyashirazu Community Road

'Tenka no Ken' - 'The Most Dangerous Crossing Under Heaven' The Cliffs of Oyashirazu were once known as the most dangerous crossing of the Hokuriku Road. In ancient times, crossing these cliffs meant taking your life into your own hands while inching between the rocky cliffs and the stormy sea. Over time, these perilous cliffs came to be known as 'Tenka no Ken' which means 'The Most Dangerous Crossing Under Heaven.' In the late 19th century, the first modern road was carved along these cliffs. This narrow, winding road was the only way to get around the cliffs for many years, until it was replaced by the current National Route 8. Today, the old road has been made into a scenic walk and renamed the Oyashirazu Community Road. From Oyashirazu Community Road, see the 4 generations of roads that have been built to conquer these cliffs while enjoying the spectacular views they afford. Below Oyashirazu Community Road, the remains of the Old Hokuriku Main Line, the first railroad to pass through these cliffs, can be seen. One of the tunnels has been preserved and is open to the public.

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  • Nature and Best Views

Shiraike Pond Forest Park

Gorgeous Autumn Colors and Hiking Trails Shiraike Pond, located just above the community of Kijiya alongside the road to Renge Hot Springs, offers beautiful views of the mountains and trees reflected in its surface. Swamp lanterns growing around the trails are a sight to behold in early spring while in autumn the colors of the leaves cannot be beat!

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  • Nature and Best Views

Umidani Gorge & Sankyo Park

Gorgeous autumn colors and hiker's paradise! This park and campground is located at the entrance to Umidani Gorge. It serves as the basecamp for climbing Mt. Komagatake or hiking down into the Umidani Gorge itself. Multiple lookout points offer beautiful views of Mt. Senjogatake, the Umidani Mountains and the distant Sea of Japan. Enjoy brilliant new greenery in spring and fiery reds, oranges and yellows in autumn.

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