Global Network of National Geoparks

A Message from Engaru to the World

Source : Published :July 28, 2009

The town of Engaru in Hokkaido has many natural resources, including the source of obsidian in Shirataki - one of the largest sources in Japan - and the Paleolithic site where this obsidian was processed to make stone tools.
There are other survivors of the Ice Age too, such as the pika (rock rabbit) and numerous other periglacial relics.

The Shirataki Geopark Project will preserve these unique natural resources, while also promoting educational and information sharing activities from an earth sciences point of view and using the area as a tourist attraction to promote sustainable regional development.

Shirataki obsidian and archaeological remains from the Paleolithic period are a world-class heritage.
We are striving to join the Global Geoparks Network so that more people can see these geological resources and learn about earth sciences in a fun and enjoyable way.

Explore Shirataki Geopark!

The main attraction of the Shirataki Geopark is, without a doubt, the obsidian.

Jet-black in color and glittering like diamond in sunlight, these obsidian stones tell a story about Man’s relationship with the planet: the tectonic movement that formed Hokkaido as we know it today, the volcanic activity that produced the obsidian, the people in the Paleolithic period who used the obsidian in an ice age environment, and flora and fauna that remain to this day.

The Shirataki Geopark will be a place where people can learn about Man’s relationship with nature in an enjoyable way, with Shirataki’s unique natural resources.

We are continuing to perfect Shirataki Geopark so that we can provide a relaxing and educational experience of this amazing field for each and every person who visits.

Note: not all of the observation areas are ready yet. (Permission is needed to visit some areas, such as some of the obsidian outcrops.)

There is no minimum or maximum number of people required to visit the Geopark (all applications for permission are carried out directly by this office) so feel free to contact us.