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Mid-2. Late Miocene fossil flora from Yagii Formation, and visit to historical town Koedo Kawagoe, Saitama.

26th Aug.

Organizer: Junji Horiuchi (Tokyo Gakugei University) horiuchi@u-gakugei.ac.jp

Itinerary: Meet at 8:45 am at Chuo-University – visit historical town Kawagoe and buy your own choice of lunch – visit late Miocene plant fossil site on the riverbed of Arakawa River at Fukaya City – return to Chuo-University (around 5 pm).


Highlights:

Late Miocene Yagii Formation in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture, contains rich mammal and plant fossils and has recently been dated as 9.1±0.7 Ma and 9.6±1.3 Ma by fission track dating, indicating Late Miocene age (Kobayashi and Okitsu, 2011). Leaf plant fossils in this formation include dominant Metasequoia occidentalis, and various genera and species of Betulaceae, Salicaceae, Aceraceae, and Lauraceae (Horiuchi, 1996) of a lowland temperate vegetation. According to the carpological study by Kobayashi and Okitsu (unpublished data), most of the massive sandstone contains many shoots, seeds, cones and buds of Metasequoia and fruits of Carex. The sediments also contain fruits of Potamogeton, seeds of Proserpinaca, and tree taxa such as Aralia, Rubus, Stuartia, Alnus and Carpinus. Well-preserved pollen and spore grains can be retrieved from some fine-grained sediments, but no detailed studies have been carried out so far.

The historical town of Kawagoe situated some 40km west of Tokyo metropolitan area was formerly a castle town. Thus, Kawagoe is nicknamed "Little Edo = Koedo", Edo being the former name for Tokyo in the early modern Edo period, and retains an atmosphere reminiscent of past centuries. This town is famous for warehouses ("kura") made of several layers of fire proof clay-walls, a building technique called kurazukuri, and many of these warehouses are now designated as national treasures of Japan.


Expense: 5,500 JPY: excluding lunch at Kawagoe.

Maximum participants: 20,   Minimum participants: 12

Additional information: In case of heavy rain, visit to fossil site will be limited for safety.

Koedo Kawagoe http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/index.html

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