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Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark

In August 2009, Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark, Itoigawa Geopark and Shimabarahanto Geopark were the first in Japan to be designated as Global Geoparks.

The Area around Lake Toya and Usu Volcano is considered to be a particular area of lots of terrestial movements due to volcanic activity.

From the geologic heritage of the Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano, the beauties of the natural heritage of the area, to the historic heritage of the ruins of the Jomon period, the area of the "Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark" features lots of places to visit.

Why not go to one of the various visitor centers, Footpaths (walking paths), get educated by guide posts and guide tours etc. ? That's the best way to get an idea of the historic co-existance between humans and the changing environment.

Around 110000 B.C. the caldera lake Toya-ko was formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption and the following vast lava masses. Then, from about 18000 B.C., repeating eruptions around the southern coast of the lake formed the Usu Volcano. Following the destruction of the mountainous form of Usu Volcano around 5000-6000 B.C., the volcano quieted down until the beginning of the Edo Period (17th century). In 1663, the volcano started to repeatedly erupt again, up to the year 2000 all together nine times. With the extreme transformations by the eruptions every few decades, the area around Lake Toya and Usu Volcano is a place to get educated about and get a feeling of the rampageous geologic changes occuring here.
Living with a vulcano

While Mount Usu is a volcano causing disaster some times, it also gives us the blessings of hot spas, agricultural products and a beautiful scenery and other things. In the area of Lake Toya, one can see the history of humans living closely together with an volcano.