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Post-3 Quaternary environment and vegetation changes in Kyoto and its vicinity.

Aug.31- Sep. 3, 2012

Organizer: Hikaru Takahara (Kyoto Prefectural University),

                   Ryoma Hayashi (Lake Biwa Museum)

Co-organizer: Takeshi Nakagawa (University of Newcastle),

                         Naoko Sasaki (Kyoto Prefectural University)


Aug. 31. meeting points: JR Kyoto Station (the south exit) at 12:30pm

visit Lake Biwa and Lake Biwa Museum (Shiga Pref.)

stay at Kyoto City (at the same hotel until the end of tour)

Sep. 1. visit Lake Suigetsu and its vicinity (Fukui Pref.)

Sep. 2. hike in the old growth forests (beech and cedar forests) of the Kyoto University

visit traditional private houses with a thatched roof in a country town (Miyama-cho)

Sep. 3. sightseeing by yourself in Kyoto or flight to your home


In Kyoto and its vicinity, many long cores have been drilled. The cores from Lake Biwa (east of Kyoto Ciry) and Kamiyoshi Basin (west of Kyoto City) reached to MIS12. The vegetation changes in the Glacial/Interglacial cycles has revealed. Also, Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan and one of few ancient lakes in the world. It has made the natural and cultural history of the surrounding area for a long time. We can see all of the Lake in Lake Biwa Museum. In second day of our tour, we will visit Lake Suigetsu near the Sea of Japan. Lake Suigetsu is internationally recognised for its annually laminated (varved) sediment, truly exceptional >900 radiocarbon dates, and high-resolution pollen and other proxy records. The varve and radiocarbon datasets are expected to become an integral part of the IntCal radiocarbon calibration model. The climatic transition at the Holocene onset reconstructed from the sediment at very high resolution gave the lake the status of one of only five global auxiliary stratotypes (a.k.a. para-stratotypes) of the Holocene base. The third day, we will hike in old growth forests composed mainly of Japanese beech and cedar mixed forest in Kyoto University Forest. Some palynological studies have been done in and around there, regarding fire history and human impact of vegetation. After our tour, you can enjoy beautiful scenery of Kyoto City, the ancient capital established in 794AD.

Expenses: 48,000 JPY; including hotels, rental bus charges, and meals; excluding transportation between Tokyo and Kyoto 

Maximum Number of Participants: 24, Minimum Number of Participants:9

Additional Information:

It is necessary to carry rainwear to avoid getting drenched from sudden shower during hiking on the old growth forest.

The bullet train (Shinkanse Express, “Nozomi”) is the most convenient transport between Tokyo and Kyoto (ca. 2 hours half from Tokyo to Kyoto, about 13,000JPY). Also, it takes one hour half from Kyoto Station to Kansai Airport (KIX) by the express train, “Haruka”, 2,980JPY.)

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Old growth forest of Japanese beech in Kyoto University Forest (Photo by HIkaru Takahara)