Mikasa GeoparkIn the Mikasa Geopark you will enjoy a time trip from 100 million years ago, when ammonites were swimming in the oceans, till modern times when the city of Mikasa flourished as a coalmining town.
Mikasa City Museum
At Mikasa Geopark, you can see fossils of creatures that lived 100 million years ago including the internationally famous ammonites, and also experience the unique culture of a coalmining town where people lived from the bounty dug out of the earth.
Old Ikushunbetsu Coal Mine Nishiki Pit (registered as a 'Civil Engineering Heritage' site)
The area designated as Mikasa Geopark is the entire city of Mikasa. The total area is 302.52 km2 (29.7 km east-west and 24.0 km south-north), with about 85% covered with forests.
The development of Mikasa started with the discovery of ‘coal’, a gift of nature, in the Horonai area in the first year of the Meiji Era (1868). Since then, the development of the town has been closely intertwined with all things “Geo”. This is the reason why the entire city of Mikasa is now designated as a Geopark.
The name for “Mikasa” originated in “Mikasa-yama”. “Mikasa-yama was the name given to a mountain behind (north of) the “Sorachi Shujikan” named after a mountain of similar shape in Nara prefecture (Wakakusa-yama today) in Honshu. The “Sorachi Shujikan was a prison established in 1882 (Meiji 15) as a prison for convicted offenders.