有珠山Mt. Usu

Photo: © Tomo. Yun

Photo: © Tomo. Yun

An active volcano located south of Lake Toya, Mt. Usu erupted four times in the 20th century. “Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark” has been added to the list of UNESCO Global Geoparks Network as the first registered Geopark in Japan有珠山は洞爺湖の南に位置する活火山。20世紀だけでも4度も噴火した。その特徴的な地質により、2009年8月22日に洞爺湖とともに日本で初めてユネスコの「世界ジオパーク」(地質遺産公園)に認定された。洞爺湖は、2008年に、ウィンザーホテル洞爺G8北海道サミットの会場になったことで、世界的にも知られている。






Text: Ayano Yamada
since August 22nd 2009. Toya became known as it has The Windsor Hotel Toya, where G8 Hokkaido Summit was held in 2008.

The Global Geopark Network is defined by UNESCO as a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value. The Itoigawa Geopark (Niigata) and the Unzen Volcanic Area Geopark (Nagasaki) are also resgistered as first Geopark in Japan. The Global Geopark Network has 63 members in 19 countries and regions. (August 2009)

Lake Toya was formed by eruption occurred about 110,000 years ago. Around Mt.Usu, we can see various topography peculiar to volcanic region such as Toya caldera and Showashinzan, which is designated as a “national special natural monument.” You can go to the observatory at the middle by ropeway from foot of the mountain.

Mt. Usu has still continued its volcanic activity. Aiming at making known 2003’s eruption, Memorial Trail of Konpira-crater was established. Residences and facilities remaining the same since the eruption are telling people how it was. At Trail at the Foot of Mt. Nishi-yama, craters which are still actively discharging can be seen at close.

If you’d like to know more about the volcanic activity of Mt. Usu, be sure to visit the Volcano Science Museum located at the foot. It introduces the history of Mt. Usu through panels, pictures, videos and experience devices.

Mt. Usu
Address: Toyako-cho, Abuta, Hokkaido
Tel: 0142-76-2121

Text: Ayano Yamada

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