Mount Myōkō (妙高山 Myōkō-san?) is an active stratovolcano in Honshu, Japan. It is situated at the southwest of Myōkō city, Niigata Prefecture, and a part of Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. Mount Myōkō is listed as one of 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, and together with Mount Yahiko (弥彦山 Yahiko-yama?), it is well known as the "famous mountain" of Niigata Prefecture.
Geology and Geography:
Mount Myōkō was formed beginning about 300,000 years ago, in a series of eruptions producing a broad spectrum of lava types including basalt, andesite, and dacite. Its maximum height is estimated to have been between 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) and 2,900 metres (9,500 ft), but it presently reaches only 2,454 metres (8,051 ft). Around 19,000 years ago, the top was blown off in a major eruption, forming a 3 km (2 mi) wide caldera.
About 6,000 years ago, the central crater developed and assumed its present shape. A lava dome forms the volcano's present summit. The most recent eruptions about 4,300 years ago produced pyoclastic flows down the eastern flanks. Present activity is solfataric from fumaroles near the lava dome, where sulfur was once mined. There are onsen and ski resorts at the foot of the mountain, including Akakura, Suginohara and Ikenotaira.
The heavy cruiser Myōkō of the Imperial Japanese Navy and an Aegis destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force are named after this mountain. The JR East train service Myōkō is also named after the mountain.
The mountain appears invariably in school songs of elementary and middle schools in the Joetsu Region. In 1990 the Nippon Jamboree, a camping festival, was held on the Myōkō plateau (妙高高原 myōkōkōgen?) during which the participants climbed the mountain.