Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine

Edo period

Full-scale development of Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine began in 1601, and Sado was under the control of Tokugawa Shogunate. Yamashi, mine managers, were called into Sado from Iwami, and other areas in Japan, and cutting-edge techniques in surveying, drainage, smelting (cupellation, cementation with sulfur, cementation with salt) were introduced. These techniques led Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine into one of the largest mines in the world. Later such techniques used in Sado spread all over the country. There were no other mines in Japan which conducted the operation from mining through minting koban coins, and its operation process can be seen in vividly depicted picture scrolls. More than one hundred of those scrolls still survive. You will learn the detailed transition of mining techniques and management system of the mines from those scrolls.

Doyu-no-warito opencut(Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama)

Doyu-no-warito Open-Cut

Since the end of the 16th century, this was in operation as one of the largest gold and silver mines in Japan. This is an exceptional case in the world that historic remains and mining towns in different periods still survive in one area. Doyu-no-warito is the symbol of the Sado Gold and Silver Mine, with the remains of surface mining on the Doyu Vein in the Edo period.

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.

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.

▲ Sado-no-kuni Kanahori-no-maki scroll, Owned by Aikawa Folk Museum

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Katabe-Kanoura Quarry

This was the quarry for the materials for bed stones of mills. 14 quarrying areas and 105 wedge holes have been confirmed.

Photo by Hoichi Nishiyama

Fukiage Quarry

Quarrying was conducted here for a long time from the pre-modern times to the modern times in order to acquire the materials for runner stones of mills. A large number of wedge holes still remain on the rocks of the shore.