Mayama Course

Shimonita Geopark Guidebook

Welcome to Shimonita Town

The terraced terrain of Shimonita is spread out on both banks of the river around “Michi no Eki Shimonita”. When people were hunting, they lived on upper terraces where they could easily see far away, and when people started farming, they moved to lower terraces closer to water bodies. Today, the upper and lower terraces are covered with fields of the town’s specialties, such as “Shimonita negis” and “konjac. In early summer, hydrangeas grown with great care by the local “Hydrangea Growers Association” adorn the terrace cliffs.

In addition, a very rare ear ornament from about 7,000 years ago has been excavated from the area around the Shimonita Interchange on the Joshinetsu Expressway, indicating that Shimonita has long been active in exchanges with other regions.

Let’s start from “Michi no Eki Shimonita” and take a walk around the highlights of the Mayama area.

Terraced terrain

The staircase-like flat surface was created by former river erosion. In the Mayama area, the staircase-like topography was created by repeated land uplift and river erosion.
The layers of stones and sand carried by the river are well drained and suitable for growing Shimonita-negi.

Mayama Course Map

Shimonita Geopark

In Shimonita, you can feel the dynamic changes of the earth with the “Rootless Mountain (Atokura Klippe),” one of the 100 best geological features in Japan, and the traces of volcanic activity that occurred approximately 9.5 million years ago.

The World Cultural Heritage site Arafune Wind Cave, as well as Shimonita’s unique topography, historical and industrial heritage utilizing underground resources, and specialty products, Shimonita-negi and konjac, are also gifts of the land of Shimonita.

The Geopark is a natural park where visitors can feel such a connection between the earth, land and people.