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  • History and Culture
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Places and Activities

Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort

Meters of deep powder snow and views of the Sea of Japan If you love powder snow, Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort is the place for you. The operators of this popular winter getaway believe that snow is best when its left untouched, so over 65% of the slopes here are unpacked, natural powder. Enjoy the thrilling back country experience that keeps skiers and boarders coming back again and again. The snow piles so deep here, that the ski resort remains open until May. Come discover why they call it Snow Country! URL: http://charmant-hiuchi.jp/ ◆Day Pass:  Adults 3900yen  Children 2900yen ◆Half Day Pass:  Adults 2900yen  Children 2000yen

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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

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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  • 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

Itoigawa Seaside Valley Ski Area

Closest Ski Area to Itoigawa Station! Views of Mt. Amakazariyama and the Sea of Japan! Itoigawa Seaside Valley Ski Area is Itoigawa's largest ski area with a variety of slopes for skiers and boarders of all ages and ski levels. Enjoy beautiful views of the Sea of Japan and Mt. Amakazariyama while speeding down multiple kilometers of slopes. Worked up an empty stomach? Grab a meal at the lodge or at one of the mountaintop restaurants. Then relax after a day on the slopes by soaking in the natural hot spring bath located on site! Rentals available.

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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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  • History and Culture
  • Places and Activities

Nou Hakusan Shrine

Maritime Shrine with 2000 Years of History While its exact date of founding is lost to history, shrine records state that Nou Hakusan Shrine was founded over 2000 years ago during the reign of Emperor Sujin, 10th emperor of Japan. The current main sanctuary (honden) of Hakusan Shrine was built in 1515 and is a Nationally Registered Important Cultural Property. The shrine contains a number of relics of Hakusan Worship and is a bridge to the Nou Region's ancient history. The Itsukushima Shrine on nearby Benten Rock is considered a satellite shrine of Hakusan. Despite being dedicated to Shinto worship, the shrine also houses several important Buddhist relics, a remnant of the time when the lines between these two religions were blurred. The nearby Nou Museum of History and Folklore features a collection of tools and other artifacts from Nou's history. Sacred Water of Nou Hakusan Shrine Located behind the large worship hall is a sacred spring which flows from Mt. Oyama. This water is particularly delicious and is a popular source of drinking water for the locals. Spring Grand Festival The shrine's largest festival is held every year on April 24th. It features bugaku court dancing passed down over the centuries. This performance is unique to Hakusan Shrine and is registered as a National Cultural Property.

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