Sado Gold Mine: Meiji Government-controlled mine (Doyu Tunnel) Course

A course touring the history of a modern mine where you can get a sense of its huge scale and dramatic evolution

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The Sado gold mine prospered more than ever with the introduction of mechanization. Follow the modernization of the mine through items such as the mine cars, traces of the crushed rocks resulting from gunpowder technology, and the rock outcropping which split the mountain due to mining known as the Doyu-no-Warito.
Business Hours
Saturday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Sunday ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )
Weekdays ( 12:0 AM ~ 12:0 AM )

April-October 8am-5:30pm November-March 8:30am―5pm
Adult: 900 JPY
Children: 450 JPY
Sado Goldmine 1305, Shimoaikawa, Sado, Niigata
(0259) 74-2389

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The Doyu Tunnel, symbolizing the modernization of the Sado gold mine

In the Doyu Tunnel, the highlight of the course, you can walk on every step developed there from the Edo Era and sightsee the interior. The tunnel was built in 1899 to develop a new main artery for the mine. The interior of the tunnel created by the first rock drills to be introduced in Japan is wide and improved safety. But the biggest advance was the rail system built to transport the ore. A number of mine cars went back and forth to contribute to the optimization of the work. Even now in the tunnel, there are remnants of the rails and mine cars so that you can see what the operation was like back in those days. The terminus of the tunnel opens up into a huge space which reveals the remains of all of the crushing due to gunpowder and machines, and the large-scale excavation according to the pulverized rocks. Directly above, you can sense the extreme dynamism of the mine’s prosperity as you witness the deep V-shape of the mountaintop which has been cleaved in half known as the Doyu-no-Warito.

The Doyu-no-Warito, a split mountain which is the symbol of the Sado gold mine

The Doyu-no-Warito has spanned 400 years from the Edo Era to the modern age and refers to the repeatedly excavated gold mine. In the Edo Era, strip mining was utilized to carve through the surface of the ground, and the mountain was split into two due to the deep acute angle of the digging from the peak. A huge hole was opened in the lower half of the mountain due to modern methods of rock blasting and machinery according to the remains of the blasting. To be able to witness this sight is only available in this course. You can get a true sense of the history of this furious mining in this mountain which boasts the largest artery of the Sado gold mine with a maximum width of 35m and an average width of 10m. The final part of this course of the Meiji-governed mine will ultimately take you to the very green area of Takato Park. Looking back from there, you will be left with the impression of how quietly the Doyu-no-Warito soars up. The course lasts approximately 40 minutes.

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