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Pre-1. Cretaceous and Cenozoic fossil sites and biodiversity of natural beech forest in Hokkaido

Aug. 18-22

Organizer: Takeshi Asakawa (Chiba University)

Co-organizers: Norio Kito (Hokkaido University of Education), and Midori Matsumoto (Chiba University).


Aug. 18. meet at 14:00 pm in New Chitose Airport, Chitose (Hokkaido).

visit Mt. Maruyama and Hokkaido Jingu Shrine, Sapporo.

stay at Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Aug. 19. visit the Miocene leaf fossil site near Lake Shumarinai (northern Hokkaido).

visit the Middle Miocene petrified peat and forest in Shimokawa Town (northern Hokkaido).

stay at Gomi hot spring in Shimokawa Town.

Aug. 20. visit the Upper Cretaceous fossil sites near Lake Katsurazawa in Mikasa City (central Hokkaido).

stay at a hotel with hot spring in Yubari City.

Aug. 21.hike in natural beech forest in Kuromatsunai Town (western Hokkaido)

visit the Middle Pleistocene site in Kuromatsunai Town

stay at a hotel with hot spring in Kuromatsunai Town.   

Aug. 22. visit recently(2000) erupted volcano, Mt. Usu.

finish at about 15:00 pm in New Chitose Airport


Sapporo City is the capital of Hokkaido prefecture, surrounded by old-growth virgin forests. We will visit Mt. Maruyama retaining one of the most famous primeval forests in Sapporo City and see the broad-leaved deciduous forest consisting of Cercidiphyllum japonicum, Acer mono etc. Hokkaido Jingu Shrine is the largest Shinto shrine in Hokkaido, and you can enjoy many kinds of planted conifers such as Sciadopitys verticillata, Taxus cuspidata, Thujopsis dolabrata, etc. On the second day (Aug 19), we will visit several Miocene fossil sites. You can collect leaf fossils of Fagus paleojaponica, Acer subcarpinifolium etc. at Lake Shumarinai site and petrified peat containing Osmunda, Picea, Tsuga, Glyptostrobus, Decodon, etc. at Shimokawa site. On the third day (Aug20), we will visit Upper Cretaceous sites of the Upper Yezo Group. Upper Yezo Group is known to yield well-preserved permineralized plants, such as angiosperm fruits, conifer cones, conifer shoots, fern stipes, and extinct gymnosperms. On the fourth day (Aug21), we will hike to the Utasai beech forest at the northern limit of Fagus crenata. You can enjoy a primeval forest consisting of Fagus crenata, Quercus crispula, Betula maximowicziana, Magnolia obovata, etc. with undergrowth of Sasa senanensis, Cephalotaxus harringtonia var. nana, etc. We also visit a Middle Pleistocene site in Warabitai near Kuromatsunai Town where cones, leaves, and woods of Picea and Larix, and seeds, cupules, and woods of angiosperms such as Alnus, Magnolia, Fagus, etc. are reported. On the last day (Aug22), we will visit Mt. Usu, designated as a UNESCO geopark site, and will walk around a new crater formed during the last eruption to see an upwardly-displaced road, broken houses damaged by the eruption, and the active crater. You can also enjoy wilderness, delicious foods, and hot springs of Japanese style.

Expenses: 71,000 JPY; including hotels, rental bus charges, and meals; excluding transportation between Tokyo and Hokkaido 

Maximum Number of Participants: 20,   Minimum Number of Participants: 13

Additional Information:

We prepare rubber boots and hammers to use for fossil collection. Thin light clothes are recomended, because we will walk into streams on river beds at the fossil collection sites. Rainwear is also recommended for the hike to the Utasai beech forest.

You must book the connection flight to New Chitose Airport from Tokyo, by yourself. It takes about 2 hrs from Haneda or Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport. If you arrive in Japan in the morning and get a connection flight before noon, you can arrive at New Chitose Airport before 14:00. Otherwise you may need to arrive in Japan on 17th August and stay one night.

Please book a return flight from New Chitose Airport to Haneda Airport after 17:00 on 22th August.

Bed of Middle Miocene petrified peat in Shimokawa

Middle Pleistocene site in Kuromatsunai