What is "Hagi Geopark"?
Hagi Geopark is located in the north of Yamaguchi Prefecture, the westernmost point of mainland Honshu. Here you can experience the power of igneous activity that has created large calderas and small monogenetic volcanoes over 100 million years. The people of Hagi have worked alongside nature to develop their culture, something typically Japanese. The wisdom of these ancestors who utilised this geology and topography can be enjoyed today in such elements as 400-year-old Hagi-yaki ceramics and a castle town dating from the Edo Period (1603 - 1868).
From giant calderas to small monogenetic volcanoes
Here at Hagi Geopark, you can see firsthand evidence of large-scale volcanic activity at a time when Japan was still a fragment of the Eurasian Continent, underwater volcanic activity that occured when the Sea of Japan was formed as the land broke away from the continent, monogenetic volcano group activity that occured after the Japanese archipelago formed, as well as examples of igenous activity spanning 100 million years. These major events in the history of the Earth have created a variety of geological formations ranging from large calderas to small lava plateaus.
Hagi Delta as seen from Mt. Tatoko-yama
Castle town built by magma and people
The lava plateau of these monogenetic volcanoes have good sunlight and drainage, making it an ideal area for farming. The lava flow that entered the sea has formed a natural reef, making it a great place for fishing. Hagi-yaki ceramics are made using clay from weathered granite that was created by igneous activity 100 million years ago. People here have made use of the diverse geology and topograhy created by this igenous activity, resulting in the development of a variety of industries whereby people and products have come together in a large-scale city that features a castle town. Here in Hagi, a city that is proud of its special Edo Period townscape, you can experience the way of life of people who work together with the Earth to make their living.
What is a "geopark"?
Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.
A geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our Earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the impact of natural disasters.