The Fossa Magna (Latin for "Great Trench") splits Japan geologically between East and West. Itoigawa sits on top of the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line which forms the western border of this massive geological feature. This is one reason why Itoigawa has such an abundance of geological and mineral resources.
Itoigawa is Japan's only producer of gemstone jade. Jade pendants and other jewelery were produced in Itoigawa over 5,000 years ago, the oldest jadeworking culture in the world. Itoigawa's jade artifacts have been unearthed from archaeological site throughout Japan and even overseas.
Itoigawa has been strongly affected by its location on the Fossa Magna. Despite being located along the coast, the region is very mountainous, with mountains stretching nearly 3,000 meters into the sky just minutes from the shore. The region is rich in biodiversity and its four distinct seasons bring everchanging beauty to the natural scenery.
Itoigawa sits at the border between Japan's Eastern and Western cultures. This location has fostered unique culture and traditions in the Itoigawa Region. Explore the lives and traditions of the people who live in the land.