Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine

In and after Meiji era

In Meiji era, Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine and Tsurushi Silver Mine became “Sado Mine” and started to be operated by the new Meiji government in 1869, and then it was sold to Mitsubishi in 1896. During this period, both Western engineers invited by the government and Japanese engineers who had studied abroad arrived in and introduced advanced technology from the West such as the method to dig horizontal tunnels at regular intervals on a vertical shaft, and mechanization for transporting ores. With these technologies the amount of production of gold and silver was largely increased, and Sado Mine was modernized to be representative mine of the country.

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Odate Vertical Shaft

This is the first Western style vertical shaft for precious metal mining in Japan, which was completed in 1877. It was used for lifting up and down ores, miners and materials, reaching 352m at deepest. This is also one of the structures symbolizing modernization of domestic mining industry.

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Kitazawa Flotation Plant

This facility was completed in 1938, operating for dressing and smelting ores. The subsequent expansion enabled the facility to process 5 tons of ores a month, being the Asia’s largest mining plant.

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Oma Port

This port, with its completion in 1892, was used for transporting ores and carrying in raw materials such as coal. Stone embankment, truss bridge, loader pier, and crane pedestal still remain.

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Tojigawa Hydro Power Plant No.2

From the Meiji era onward, thermal power plants have been constructed to provide the mine with electric power. In order to reserve additional power, the hydro power plant was constructed on the Tojigawa River. The Plant No.2 was completed in 1919 and continued its operation until 1977.

Kyomachi-dori street, remaining vestiges of mining town