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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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  • Places and Activities

Fossa Magna Museum

Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark's Information Center. Museum of Jade and the Fossa Magna. Opened in 1994 in Itoigawa's beautiful Miyama Park, the Fossa Magna Museum tells the story of the birth of our planet and the Japanese Islands through mineral samples collected throughout Itoigawa and features exhibits on Itoigawa's jade, limestone, the Fossa Magna, Mt. Yakeyama and more. In March 2015 the museum was reopened after extensive renovations. Visit us and discover Itoigawa's exciting Geological Story, over 500 million years in the making! ●Fossa Magna Museum ・General (18 and older): 500yen ・Under 18: Free ●Joint Admission to Chojagahara Archaeological Museum (5 min walk from Fossa Magna Museum) ・General (18 and older): 600yen ・Under 18: Free ※100 yen discount to groups of 20 or more ※Free admission for guests with disabilities ●Fossil Valley Activity ・300 yen for 2 hours ・Includes equipment rental ・Limit of five fossils per person ・Closed in Winter Season

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  • Places and Activities

Hisuien Gardens & Jade Art Museum

A secluded Japanese garden decorated with jade A 70 ton boulder of cobalt jade greets you as you enter the gate to this beautifully-landscaped Japanese garden. Designed by acclaimed landscaper Kinsaku Nakane, the beauty of this garden changes with the season. Stroll the multiple paths around the garden to enjoy the showy flowers of spring, rich greens of summer, or vibrant leaves of autumn. No matter what season you visit, you will be absolutely stunned by the amount of beauty packed into this small space. Be sure to visit the Museum of Jade Art, located near the exit of the garden, to appreciate its large exhibit of jade sculptures, featuring both local and imported jade. Admission Adults: 500 yen Under 18: 300 yen Joint Admission with Tanimura Art Museum & Gyokusuien Garden Adults: 800 yen Under 18: 500 yen

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  • History and Culture
  • Places and Activities

Tanimura Art Museum & Gyokusuien Gardens

Buddhist Artwork, Traditional Japanese Gardens & Modern Architecture The Gyokusuien Gardens opened in 1981. Designed by acclaimed landscape architect Kinsaku Nakane, the gardens use the natural background to evoke a scene of two rivers flowing from the mountains in a serene, secluded setting. Enjoy viewing the gardens from the adjoining tea house or the hillside pavilion. Beside the gardens, the Tanimura Art Museum opened in 1983. The museum features the Buddhist artwork of wood sculptor Seiko Sawada who is considered by many to be Japan's greatest modern sculptor of Buddhist artwork. Even the museum itself is a masterpiece of modern architecture designed by renowned architect Togo Murano. It was among the last buildings he designed before his passing and is considered a perfect example of Murano's personal style of Brutalist architecture. Travel along the corridor on a pilgrimage from the profane to the sacred and cleanse your mind and soul in this truly unique museum. ◆Tanimura Art Museum & Gyokusuien Gardens  Adults: 500yen  18 and under: 300yen ◆Joint Admission with Hisuien Gardens  Adults: 800yen  18 and under: 500yen

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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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  • Hands-on Experiences
  • Places and Activities

Takanami-no-Ike Campgrounds

Camp in the Hakuba Foothills Near the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge These campgrounds are located beside the beautiful Takanami-no-Ike Pond, offering stunning views of Mt. Myojo and access to hiking trails, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge and more! The campgrounds are well-equipped with an on-site restaurant, shop, hot showers, flushing toilets and other amenities! It's a great place to escape to nature without going too far off the grid. Campsite Information Tent Sites: 53 Site Usage Fee: 1000 yen (free with tent rental) Amenities: 3 cooking stations 2 fire circles 2 restrooms (flushing toilets) 4 showers (heated) Picnic tables and chairs On-site restaurant & shop Hand carts available for use Free WiFi available Rentals: Tent: 2,000 yen (fits 6) Boat: 1,000 yen / 30 min Fishing Rod: 300 yen Frisbee: 200 yen Ground Golf: 300 yen / game Firewood: Firewood: 520 yen / bundle Charcoal: 520 yen / bag Notice: No cellphone reception  No electrical outlets 50 m walk from parking lot to campsites

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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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  • Places and Activities

Gekkazan Kaneko Azalea Garden

Dazzling Sea of White and Pink Located on a hillside on 5,500 square meters of private land, the Kaneko family have cared for the 3,500 azalea plants here for two generations. Each May, this hillside bursts into a brilliant display of white and pink azaleas creating a beautiful flower-filled landscape in tune with the natural surroundings. The view of Itoigawa and the Sea of Japan from the top of the hill is not to be missed! ※Note, the Kaneko Azalea Garden is located in the garden of a private home, but the owners have been kind enough to open it to the public. Please be mindful of their privacy and property.

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