If you haven’t done so, read part 1 first.
We left off I had just hit the beach for a few hours of collecting before sundown and check-in time at Mr. Toshio’s motel. This was a place I found on Airbnb and just happened to be perfect for the collector. The owner, Toshio-san, is a native of Itoigawa, speaks good English and was a gracious host. He told me he often hosts travelers from all over looking to collect specimens from the beach. His motel is just across the highway from one of the famous collecting beaches so it’s an ideal place to stay.
As the sun went down I grabbed some dinner and a craft beer from the nearby 7-11 and looked through what I had collected. I sorted what I thought might be jade, knew was nephrite from the leaverites and realized I had to give a lot of material back to the beach in the morning.
The next morning I got up early and hit the beach again for an hour. Toshio-san was going to take me around town that day and show me some other collecting beaches so I didn’t have much time. I had asked him to take me to one spot in particular a few kilometers south as it was a known spot for collecting benitoite. It was just south of the Omi river that drained from the benitoite deposit in the mountains to the sea. Unfortunately after about 1 hour of hunting we didn’t find any benitoite and so we moved on to the next attraction which ended up being my favorite part of the trip, the Fossa Magna Museum.
Perched on top of a smaller mountain looking over Itoigawa, the Fossa Magna museum really is a world class museum as far as geology and minerals are concerned. It’s divided up into 4 areas, Birth of the Planet, Fascinating Rocks, Romance of Mother Earth, and Rocks and Humans. They are even courteous enough to translate most information into English. We’ll just focus on the rock and mineral specimens though.
As you would expect the jade specimens are stunning and come in all colors from white to green to lavender. They ranged in size from small pieces of high quality jade to several ton boulders! Not to be outdone though, other specimens such as the kosmochlor, below right, and benitoite amongst many others definitely held their own. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
As we neared the end of the museum we came upon an amazing collection of specimens from all over the world. Again, I’ll let the pictures do the talking here.
To be continued…