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Tokage-iwa (Lizard Rock)

Tokage-iwa Information Board (Dōgo Island)

The Oki Islands are home to many uniquely-shaped rocks. In the case of Tokage-iwa in Dōgo Island, it is not just the shape of the rock that is unusual but also its composition.

Tokage-iwa (Lizard Rock) is thus named because it looks like a giant lizard scaling the sheer cliff face. From head to tail the lizard is 26m long, and there is a gap between cliff and lizard, as only the tail is connected to the cliff. In 2000 the west Tottori Earthquake caused the ‘front legs’ of the lizard to become dislodged and fall off.

Tokage-iwa from a distance

This rock can be seen from lookouts in the Shizen-kaiki-no-mori Forest in the Fuse Area, and even from the ferry coming into Saigō Port, if you have a telescope.

The composition of this rock is very unusual. It has only been discovered in this rock in Dōgo Island, has the highest concentration of alkali elements (sodium and potassium) among all volcanic rocks in Japan. This is significant because high concentration of alkali elements is a feature of rocks from the continent. This shows that the Oki Islands had a different formation process compared with the rest of the Japanese Archipelago.

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