The Jade Road and the Azure Sea of Japan

Explore the history, food culture, and beauty available right in front of Itoigawa Station.

Geosite
Itoigawa Caost
Time
2-4 hrs
Access
Walking

Notice Regarding Route Information

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route
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Itoigawa Coast Geosite A. Start: Itoigawa Station Difficulty: Easy. Always Open! Jade Road (Downtown Shopping Street) Before leaving Itoigawa Station, make sure to touch the massive jade magatama there and feel 500 million years history. B. Princess Nunakawa and Jadeite The statue which greets you from across the station is of Princess Nunakawa. Legend says she was a shaman chieftainess who ruled this area in ancient times. She holds a jade orb in one hand, with her other hand outstretched. It is said to be good luck to hold her hand. Kaibo Park This park, located on the former site of Itoigawa City Hall, features a statue of Princess Nunakawa and her son Takeminakata, who is worshipped as a god at the many Suwa Shrines found throughout Japan. In front of the park is National Highway 8 and the sea wall and tetrapods which run along the Sea of Japan. The long seawall that can be seen jutting into the sea in the west is part of Himekawa Port. C. Viewing Platform On clear days you can see the Noto Peninsula across the sea from this platform. To the south are the Kubiki Mountains, to the west is Mt. Kurohime, to the east is Mt. Hokogatake, and further east you can see Cape Torigakubi. Use the tunnel to cross underneath the highway when visiting this platform. D. Kaga Highway and Site of Former Honjin Walking back toward the station, turn right onto the Kaga Highway, the ancient road which led to Kaga Province, which is now the area around Kanazawa City. Along this road is Kaga-no-I Brewery, which is the oldest operating sake brewery in Niigata Prefecture. Established as a brewery in 1650, it was a favorite stop for the lord of Kaga Province, who made it his honjin or designated inn. This is the origin of its name, which means "Kaga's Well". Kaga Highway and Matsumoto Highway The intersection of these two highways, where Hakuba-dori Street and Honcho-dori Street meet, is the same today as it appears on ancient maps. An old stone guidepost sits at the intersection to this day. Seafood and other products from the Sea of Japan were collected here to be transported along these highways. Chuo-dori Street and Poetic Monument of Ryokan Along Hakuba-dori Street, Keioji Temple contains the grave of Nakamura Gohe, a salt broker, and Saiseiji Temple has a preserved ushi-tsunagi-iwa or cow-hitching stone. These are both historic relics of the old Salt Trail which passed through here. Along Chuo-dori Street, a poetic monument celebrating the acclaimed Buddhist monk and poet Ryokan has been erected. Ryokan was born in Izumosaki, Niigata and is well-known for his zen-influenced poetry. Jade Kingdom Centre The Jade Kingdom Centre is a tourist center located next to Itoigawa Station. Here you can see a modern jade workshop and buy a variety of gifts and local produce. A 7-ton jadeite boulder is also on display. E. Goal: Itoigawa Station Itoigawa Coast Field guide Itoigawa Coast Field guide Statue of Princess Nunakawa Viewing Platform