About San’in Kaigan Geopark The San’in Kaigan Geopark,
Valuable Heritage of the Earth’s Activities
International Importance
Rich Ecosystem Cultures and Lifestyles Brought
About by Unique Geomorphological
and Geological Features
San’in Kaigan Geopark
Governing Structure

About San’in Kaigan Geopark

In December 2008, the San’in Kaigan Geopark was designated as a Japanese Geopark by the Japan Geopark Committee. On December 4 (December 3 local time), 2010, the San’in Kaigan Geopark was admitted to the Global Geoparks Network during a conference held on Lesvos Island, Greece.

In August 2014, four years after its designation in 2010, the San’in Kaigan Geopark received an on-site evaluation. On September 23 (September 22 local time), during the 6th International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks held in Stonehammer Global Geopark, Canada, the revalidation of the San’in Kaigan Geopark as a member of the Global Geoparks Network was decided. As a result, the San’in Kaigan Geopark will hold its position as a global geopark for another four years until 2018.

◆Themes and characteristics of the San’in Kaigan Geopark
Stretching widely from Kyoto Prefecture (Kyotango City) to Hyogo Prefecture (Toyooka City, Kami Town, and Shin’onsen Town) to Tottori Prefecture (Iwami Town and Tottori City) and largely overlapping with San’in Kaigan National Park, the San’in Kaigan Geopark lies about 120 km east and west from the eastern edge of Kyotango City to the western edge of Tottori City, respectively. With an area 2458.44 km2, the Geopark is a little larger than the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

The Geopark has had diverse geomorphological and geological features from the time when the Japan Sea was born to the present. One can observe living things, and people’s lifestyles, cultures, and histories that reflect such features.

One of the outstanding characteristics of the San’in Kaigan Geopark is that it contains many valuable geomorphological and geological assets. They include igneous rocks and geological strata that are related to the formation of the Japan Sea about 25 million years ago, and diverse coastal terrains, such as ria shorelines and dunes formed by the sea-level change and crustal movement in the Japan Sea.

Since old days, people have inhabited the Geopark area, and so we can still observe the culture and history that they have developed in its diverse natural surroundings. Making the best of these advantages, the San’in Kaigan Geopark is conducting activities that will lead to the conservation of natural heritage and regional revitalization through local geotourism.


Tango Matsushima


Genbudo Cave


Tottori Sand Dunes

The Geopark’s themes
Goelpgical features,the natural environment,people’s lives,
and the formation of the Sea of Japan


In the San’in Kaigan Geopark, there are varied terrain and geological conditions that range from the days when Japan was still part of the Asian Continent to today. The Geopark also has cultural and historical heritage that has developed in its diverse natural surroundings.

◆Geomorphological and geological features
(1)Distribution of various igneous rocks and sedimentary rock layers related to the formation of the Japan Sea and their exposure on the rocky coast
(2)Varied landforms along the coast of the Japan Sea
(3)Volcanic product and volcanic landform resulting from the igneous activity that continued after the formation of the Japan Sea
(4)Location where it was discovered that geomagnetic reversal occurred in the Quaternary era (Basalt rock at Genbudo Cave)
(5)Abundant hot spring resources resulting from igneous activity
(6)Active faults and coastal terraces indicating Quaternary crustal movement that has appeared along the coast of the Japan Sea

◆The history of the earth of the San’in Kaigan divided into three periods
The process in which the land where the San’in Kaigan Geopark is located was formed can be largely divided into three parts, namely “the period when Japan was part of the Asian Continent,” “the period when Japan separated from the Asian Continent and the Japan Sea was being formed,” and “the period from when the Japanese Archipelago came into being to the present.”