A journey through satoyama and the living Earth

Itoigawa’s legendary Princess Nunakawa. Explore the mythical land where she was born as well as the sacred mountains of Shindosan and Gongdendake. Visit a hot spring village and enjoy learning about the living Earth.

Geosite
Shindosan, Gongendake
Time
1 day
Access
Car, Walking

Notice Regarding Route Information

Shindosan Geosite Gongendake Geosite Shindosan Field guide Gongendake Field guide A. Start: Nou Station Difficulty: Intermediate. Partially Closed in Winter! B. Shindosan Mt. Shindosan, whose name means “Path of the Gods,” is part of the legend of Princess Nunakawa. Climb the 1,088 stone steps to the peak and ring the peace bell located on top. The many small, triangular mountains in this area were formed by underwater volcanos about one million years ago. Princess Nunakawa’s Birthplace Princess Nunakawa is said to have been born from this boulder. The boulder itself is made of volcanic material produced by underwater volcanos. A naturally-formed stone pillar sits atop the boulder. With this and the boulder’s massive size and unusual shape, it’s no wonder it came to be regarded as sacred. D. Green Messe Nou Green Messe Nou is a 9-hole golf course. The club is open to nonmembers and includes a lounge, restaurant, and hot spring located in a beautifully green area. Beech Forest Nature Walk The beech forest here is ancient, dating back to the last ice age. The people of this area long relied on this forest for firewood and charcoal. The seeds of the trees are also an important source of food for mice, squirrels, and bears. Natural Gas The area around Gongendake is rich in natural gas. It has long been used in the area and was even mentioned in the old book “Hokuetsu Seppu” (Snow Stories of Northern Koshi Province). Since the early 20th century, it has found even more use in the area for everything from heating bath water to drying mountain vegetables. E. Maseguchi Avalanche Memorial In January 1986 a massive avalanche occurred on the slopes of Gongendake devastating the village below and killing 13 people. The avalanche followed a trench which had formed as the result of a massive landslide which occurred in 1947. Ten Thousand Year Snow Just below the summit of Gongendake is a section of permanent snow is locally called the “Ten Thousand Year Snow.” The nearby volcanic cliff has a U-shaped trench which was formed by countless avalanches. An 8m high avalanche wall protects the village below. F. Maseguchi Hot Springs Gongendake is made of solidified magma and beneath it is a great deal of geothermal energy. The Maseguchi Hot Springs Village has a number of hot springs hotels and restaurants which make use of this natural treasure. Relax in one of the hot springs here after finishing your geotour. G. Goal: Nou Station
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