Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the Hayakawa region of Itoigawa.
Named for the Hayakawa River which runs through it, this part of Itoigawa is primarily rural, characterized by small villages and rice fields wedged between the mountains. It includes two geosites: the Tsukimizu-no-Ike and Yakeyama geosites.
While Itoigawa is a single city, it is comprised of many smaller town- and village-like communities. This picture shows part of ‘Aramachi,’ one of the ‘towns’ of the Hayakawa region. Separated from the rest of the city by mountains and rice fields, Aramachi is fairly self-sufficient with all you would expect in a town of comparable size including restaurants, a post office, a supermarket, and local shops. Of particular interest are sweets shops and a shop that specializes in wasabi grown in the area around Tsukimizu-no-Ike Pond.
Further upriver are more villages and even a few hot springs resorts. The mountain scenery here is unforgettable and I highly recommend both the Yakeyama and Tsukimizu-no-Ike Geosites to anybody visiting the Itoigawa Global Geopark.