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Geosite
Field Guide

Hashidate Gold Mine and Oyashirazu

Enjoy dynamic scenery of mountain villages and coastal cliffs on this history-rich course.

Geosite
Ichiburi, Hashidate Gold Mine, Oyashirazu
Time
6 hrs
Access
Car, Walking

Notice Regarding Route Information

Oyashirazu Geosite Hashidate Gold Mine Geosite A. Start: Oumi Station Difficulty: Easy. Partially Closed in Winter! B. Omigawa Jade Gorge One of Japan’s few jade deposits. Not as large as nearby Kotakigawa Jade Gorge, the Oumigawa Jade Gorge is still home to some incredibly massive jadeite boulders which were formed 500 million years ago deep within the earth. Warning! The Jade Gorge and its surrounding environs have been designated as a National Natural Monument. The damage or removal of stones, plants, wildlife, etc. from the area is strictly prohibited. Please help us preserve this natural wonder. Sakata Toge Pass This pass was once used as the mountainside route of the old Hokuriku Road. It passes by the Hashidate Gold Mine and the village of Agero on its way to Toyama Prefecture. The Tsugami Shindo hiking trail crosses through this pass. Hashidate Gold Mine Smelter Site This gold mine, said to have been operated by the feudal warlord Uesugi Kenshin, saw its last boom in the 1890s.  Today all that remains are the mining tunnels and the site of the mine’s old smelter. C. Agero: The Yamanba Village A crack in the bedrock here has long been called “Yamanba Cave” by the local villagers. It is said to be the home of a yamanba, a type of mountain witch. Generally considered evil spirits, the yamanba who lives here is a kindly one. She is enshrined at Yamanba Shrine in nearby Agero Village. Also located in the village are sacred boulders, including one on which the yamanba is said to dance. D. Ichiburi Coast The coastal Ichiburi region is rich in history. It once flourished as a shukuba, or Inn Town, along the Hokuriku Road and contains many historic sites, including a sekisho or customs gate. The acclaimed poet Bashō wrote about visiting here in the late 1600s. Ichiburi Beach is also an excellent place to collect stones and enjoy the sea. E. Oyashirazu Oyashirazu was once an incredibly formidable obstacle to trade and commerce which more than earned its nickname of tenka-no-ken, “the most precipitous area under heaven.” When the first road was finally carved along the cliffs, the laborers chiseled the phrase “to no gotoku, ya no gotoshi” which means “smooth as a whetstone, straight as an arrow.” This feat of engineering was recognized as a Civil Engineering Heritage Site and one of Japan’s 100 Scenic Roads. The road has since been replaced by more modern roads and is now part of the Oyashirazu Community Road Park. The park includes an observation platform and a statue of Rev. Walter Weston, the father of Japanese Mountaineering. Oyashirazu Pier Park Oyashirazu Pier Park was built to commemorate the opening of the Hokuriku Expressway which passes through Oyashirazu. It features an expansive beach, gift shops, restaurants, and a museum. Nearby is scenic Mt. Katsuyama, which once contained a castle. F. End: Oumi Station Oyashirazu Field guide Oyashirazu Field guide Ichiburi Coast
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