Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark offers you the experience of a 350-million-year-old drama of the earth and life.

Enjoy a journey through the Geopark, looking out for its white, black and red features!
A white feature denotes limestone.
Limestone is a kind of rock formed with a sedimentary deposit of coral that once lived in the warm sea, and other substances. The white rock, originally emerging as a coral reef in the warm, southern ocean about 300 million years ago, was carried by a plate toward the land over a very long period.
A black feature denotes coal.
Coal from the Ohmine Coalfield, formed from plants that lived about 200 million years ago, is quality anthracite?rare in Japan?a unique mineral that emits little smoke when burned.
A red feature denotes copper.
Magmatic activity that occurred about 100 million years ago caused an interaction between boiling water and limestone, resulting in the formation of copper. Copper from this area was used to build the Great Buddha in Nara.
The history of geological features in Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark is a microcosm of the history of the earth.

Enjoy the Geopark by taking an in-depth look at the history and culture of people living on this land!

What are Geoparks?

Geoparks are areas where you can experience the many wonders of the earth from such clues as the scenery in front of you and the lifestyles of the local people.
In Geoparks, including Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark, you can embark on “geotours,” guided by local people, to discover natural wonders.

Located in the center of the Mine-Akiyoshidai area is Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau, one of the largest karst plateaus in Japan. Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau is formed from limestone that developed from the sediment of ancient coral reefs. Limestone has close relationships in various forms with people both in and outside the area, including as a tourism resource represented by limestone caves, such as Akiyoshi Cave, and as a quarried mineral resource.
In addition to Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau, various wonders of terrestrial activity await you in the Geopark, including the Naganobori Copper Mine Ruins, where copper formed by volcanic activity was mined, and the Ohmine Coalfield, where coal formed from ancient plants can be mined.

Basic philosophy of Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark

Based on the Geopark principles of protection, education and sustainable regional development, Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark will continue to collaborate with local citizens, the local government and researchers in considering what we can do for the sake of our own region, and increase the happiness of the region in both economic and emotional terms, with the aim of achieving a sustainable regional society.

Charter of Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark

Devoting our efforts to Geopark activities and believing in a brighter future for our region, we draw up a charter herein, with the aim of achieving a sustainable regional society.

  • 1.We protect the land, which embodies the eternal history of the earth, and our culture, which our predecessors have long fostered.
  • 2.We learn about the land and culture, and hand them down to our children.
  • 3.We use the land and culture to increase the happiness of our region.
  • 4.We find joy in continuing these activities.

Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark and the lives of local people

A story of the land of the Mine-Akiyoshidai area and the local people

The approximately 100 km2 area of Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau is divided into eastern and western plateaus by the Koto River flowing from north to south. The eastern plateau, mainly covered with grass, is awarded with some designations, including as a Special Natural Monument, for the purpose of conserving species growing in the grass. Meanwhile, featuring quarries and spring water, the western plateau is closely related to the lives of the local people. Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau, which is thus indispenable to animals, plants and human beings, is formed from limestone that used to be coral reefs, which inhabited the warm, southern sea approximately 350 million years ago, and moved slowly on an oceanic plate (the submarine part of a solid rock plate covering the earth’s surface) to reach the land. Then, several million years ago, the limestone began to dissolve due to rainwater and underground water, finally forming cone-shaped sinkholes called “dolines” and limestone caves.

The Mine-Akiyoshidai area boasts many valuable geographical features that embody the long history of relationships between the land and the people living on it, such as fragments of the oceanic plate dating back around 400 million years, coal and phytoliths formed about 200 million years ago, and copper and silver formed about 100 million years ago, not to mention Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau itself. The theme of Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark is: “The history of the earth and life is still alive in the karst plateau.” Why not embark on a journey to the Geopark area, centered on Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau, to explore the history of the land and the people living on it?