Outline of Japan and Global Geopark
What is Geopark?
（1）What is Geopark?
“Geo” is a prefix signifying “earth” and “land.” A geopark is a kind of natural park containing geological heritage that has great scientific importance and value or that is simply beautiful to look at. Geological and geomorphological conditions not only reflect the earth’s history but also have direct relevance to people’s lives and cultures. Geoparks help us learn about and enjoy the earth’s activities as a set of heritages.
In 2004, with UNESCO’s support, geoparks of European countries, China, Japan, and other countries came together to form the Global Geoparks Network (GGN). In October 2010, the San’in Kaigan Geopark was validated to the GGN. In September 2014, the San’in Kaigan Geopark expanded its area and was revalidated to the GGN. In 2015, the GGN became an official program of UNESCO.
（2）Differences between world heritage sites and global geoparks
Unlike the world heritage sites that are designated mainly for preservation, geoparks aim not only to conserve natural heritage featuring geology but also to use such heritage for education and regional revitalization. It is in this aspect that geoparks are different from world heritage sites. Also, with respect to geoparks, at the occasions of validation and revalidation, emphasis is placed not only on sites but also on activities conducted there (e.g. educational programs, tour guide training, and community promotion measures) and organizations managing the geoparks. Moreover, unlike world heritages, geoparks are subject to revalidation every four years.
（3）How to enjoy geopark.
If you want to enjoy geopark, we recommend you guided tour.
You can experience the precious landscape, culture, and nature that are difficult to notice in ordinary sightseeing, such as the origin of the land and the background of beautiful landscapes.
You, also, can get various information concerning geopark from each of the core facility. After the geosite tour is over or after visiting facility, take your time enjoying the other aspects of the geopark as well. For example, you can enjoy delicious local food or refresh yourself in a hot, relaxing spa, which is one of the gifts from the “Geo.”
●Further information on geoparkJapanese Geopark Network (brochure prepared by UNESCO) Japan Geopark Committee (UNESCO Guide line) Japan Geopark Committee (What is Geopark) Japan Geopark Committee (Application and designation flow for Geoparks in Japan)
Global Geopark Network (GGN)
The number of sites in the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network is 169 in 44 countries as of April 2021.Global Geopark Network (GGN) (oversea sites)
Japanese Geopark Network (JGN)
As of January 2022, 46 geoparks are designated as Japanese Geopark Network by the Japan Geopark Committee. Among them, 9 geoparks are designated as UNESCCO Global Geopark.Japanese Geopark Network (JGN) (Official Site)
●As of January 2022, the JGN regular membership consists of 9 UNESCO Global Geoparks in Japan and 37 Japanese National Geoparks.
|★Toyo-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark , Hokkaido||★Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark, Niigata Prefecture|
|★Unzen Volcanic Area UNESCO Global Geopark, Nagasaki Prefecture||★Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark Park, Kochi Prefecture|
|★San’in Kaigan UNESCCO Global Geopark, Kyoto, Hyogo and Tottori Prefectures||★Oki Island UNESCO Global Geopark, Shimane Prefecture|
|★Aso UNESCO Global Geopark, Kumamoto Prefecture||★Mt. Apoi UNESCO Global Geopark, Hokkaido|
|★Izu Penisula UNESCO Global Geopark, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|★Dainosaur Valley Fukui Katsuyama Geopark, Fukui Prefecture||★Minami-Alps (MTL) Geopark, Nagano and Shizuoka Prefectures|
|★Izu Oshima Geopark, Tokyo||★Kirishima Geopark, Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefectures|
|★Oga Peninsula-Ogata Geopark, Akita Prefecture||★Bandaisan Geopark, Fukushima Prefecture|
|★Chichibu Geopark, Saitama Prefecture||★Shimonita Geopark, Gunma Prefecture|
|★Happo-Shirakami, Akita Prefecture||★Hakusan Tedorigawa Geopark, Ishikawa Prefecture|
|★Choshi Geopark, Chiba Prefecture||★Yuzawa Geopark, Akita Prefecture|
|★Sanriku Geopark, Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures||★Hakone Geopark, Kanagawa Prefecture|
|★Shikoku Seiyo Geopark, Ehime Prefecture||★Mikasa Geopark, Hokkaido|
|★Oita Bungoono Geopark, Oita Prefecture||★Sado Island Geopark, Niigata Prefecture|
|★Tokachi Shikaoi Geopark, Hokkaido||★Oita Himeshima Geopark, Ooita Prefecture|
|★Nanki Kumano Geopark, Wakayama Prefecture||★Sakurajima-Kinkouwan Geopark, Kagoshima Prefecture|
|★Mishima Kikai Caldera Geopark, Kagoshima Prefecture||★Tateyama-Kurobe Geopark, Toyama Prefecture|
|★Naeba Sanroku Geopark, Niigata and Nagano Prefectures||★Shirataki Geopark, Hokkaido|
|★Shimokita Geopark, Aomori Prefecture||★Mine-Akiyoshidai Krast Plateau Geopark, Yamaguchi Prefecture|
|★Mt. Asama North Geopark, Gunma Prefecture||★Mt. Kurikoma Area Geopark, Miyagi Prefecture|
|★Shimane Peninsula and Shinjiko Nakaumi Estuary Geopark, Shimane Prefecture||★Mt. Tsukuba Area Geopark , Ibaraki Prefecture|
|★Hagi Geopark, Yamaguchi Prefecture||★Mt. Chokai and Tobishima Island Geopark, Yamagata and Akita Prefectures|
|★Tosashimizu Geopark, Kochi Prefecture||★Tokachidake Geopark, Hokkaido|
|★Goto Islands (Shimogoto Area) Geopark, Nagasaki Prefecture|