Geostories connect different Geosites and their related elements into one magnificent story, allowing visitors to enjoy each Geosite even more by putting them within that larger story. At Chichibu Geopark, there are four Geostories based on a main theme and subthemes.
In the Meiji era, which marked the dawn of modern geology in Japan, many students and scholars visited the Chichibu region. Starting with the Iwadatami rocks at Nagatoro referred to as the “window of Earth,” a tour around Geosites where historic figures of the past have left their traces—including Kenji Miyazawa who is a famous Japanese poet and writer of children’s stories, and Dr. Heinrich Edmund Naumann who is a German geologist that contributed to modern geology in Japan—will guide you through the history of Earth expounded by the great land of Chichibu.
In the ancient past, the Chichibu Basin was covered by the ocean. In this rich and abundant ocean, with mountains in the background, there were most likely large marine animals and fishes swimming around freely. Memories engraved from the past, when the land was still covered by the ocean, can be viewed from six cliffs. The fossil assemblage of marine animals that existed back then such as Paleoparadoxia and Chichibu whale have been designated as natural monuments of Japan. Let’s transport through time back to when Chichibu was still covered by the ocean!
Chichibu is a land that has been venerated by many people since old times. Famous shrines referred to as Chichibu Sanja (three shrines of Chichibu) and many other temples feature many special locations, where visitors are imbued with a mystic feeling due to the unique landform, and they have been carefully preserved and passed down. By touring these special locations that have been prudently protected and passed down through the ages, you can embark on a spiritual journey while drawing connections between people’s faith and mother Earth.
In all ages and time, the force that has invigorated this region has been the industries and multifaceted cultures that have developed through the blessings of the land. The history of the Chichibu Night Festival, which is the largest festival in Chichibu, and the challenges of Gennai Hiraga, a famous inventor of the Edo period, are both deeply linked with the story of the land. The numerous sightseeing spots in Chichibu, the famous local food, are all in fact linked with Geo!—We hope you will be able to find many surprising connections like these.