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Sado Gold and Silver Mine

On Sado Island, located roughly 40 km off the coast of the Japanese mainland, there are well-preserved remains of mines and villages from several eras stretching back more than 400 years. The gold mined on Sado Island long helped to support Japan's finances of the central goverments and even influenced the global economy. The Sado Gold and Silver Mine was inscribed on Japan's World Heritage Tentative List under the title "The Sado Complex of Heritage Mines, Primarily Gold Mines" in 2010, becoming an official World Heritage candidate, and it is now seeking inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 1
    Nishimikawa Placer Gold Mine

    These are the only placer gold deposits in Japan, and it is believed that they are alluded to in the book "Konjaku-monogatari-shu (Tales of Times Now and Past)." There are many surviving relics that show the placer mining systems used during the Edo Period.

  • 2
    Tsurushi Silver Mine

    This silver mine led to the discovery of the Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine. There are several traces that indicate the transition from surface mining to tunnel mining.

  • 3
    Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine

    As Japan’s largest gold and silver mine, it remained in operation for over 400 years beginning in the late 16th century. Its collection of preserved mining relics and mining village ruins from several eras all in a single location is an exceptional case not found anywhere else in the world.

Sado Gold and Silver Mine
Points of Interest

Doyu-no-warito Open-Cut

A symbol of the Sado Gold and Silver Mine, it is a remnant of the surface mining of the Doyu Vein, mined during the Edo period. As a result of human excavation, the opening of the Doyu-no-warito extends to a depth of 74m and a width of 30m, essentially splitting the mountain in two.

Map

Sado Gold Mine, Historic Site

The Edo-period Sodayu Tunnel and other mining facilities are open to the public. There is also a gold mine museum where visitors can learn in detail about conditions at the mine when it was operated.

Map

Kitazawa Flotation Plant

Completed in 1938. This facility sorted and smelted the collected ore. Through later expansion it was capable of processing 50,000 tons of ore per month, boasting the largest facilities in the East.

Map

Sado Magistrate's Office

Established by Okubo Nagayasu in 1603, it was the center of Sado's mine management and governance during the Edo period. Restored in 2000.

Map

An Enchanting Island:Sado Gold and Silver Mine,
The Path Towards World Heritage Status

Sado Gold and Silver Mine is one of Japan's industrial heritages. The most advanced mining techniques of the time were poured into it. On the path toward achieving World Heritage inscription, we are confronted anew by the enchantment of Sado Gold and Silver Mine.

  • Medieval and Early Modern Edition

  • Modern Edition

Instagram@sado_goldmine

Access to Sado Island

Transportation between Niigata on the mainland and Sado Island

  • Access to Sado Island

  • Access to Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine