生野鉱山

Ikuno kōzan - Ikuno Silver Mine


Useful Information

photography
Ikuno Silver Mine. Public Domain.
photography
Ikuno Silver Mine. Public Domain.
Location: Ikuno. Bantan highway, exit Ikuno Dai 1 Ranpu, follow road 312, turn right on road 429.
Open: Mine Tunnel: 02-JAN to FEB Mon, Wed-Sun 9:30-16:30.
MAR daily 9:30-17.
APR to OCT daily 9-17:30.
NOV daily 9-17.
DEC to 29-DEC Mon, Wed-Sun 9:30-16:30.
Last admission 40 minutes before closing.
Kosha House: 02-JAN to 29-DEC year Tue-Sun, Hol 9-17. last entry 16:30.
[2020]
Fee: Mine Tunnel: Adults JPY 900, Junior High JPY 600, Elementary JPY 400, Children (0-5) free, Disabled 50% discount.
Groups (15+): Adults JPY 810, Junior High JPY 540, Elementary JPY 360, Children (0-5) 200.
Groups (50+): Adults JPY 765, Junior High JPY 510, Elementary JPY 340, Children (0-5) 200.
Ikuno Mine Museum: Adults JPY 100.
Kosha House: free.
[2020]
Classification: MineSilver Mine
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=350km, VR=880m, T=13°C.
Guided tours: D=40min.
Photography:
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: A. Kato, Y. Fujiki (1969): The Occurrence of Stannoidites from the Xenothermal Ore Deposits of the Akenobe, Ikuno, and Tada Mines, Hyogo Prefecfure, and the Fukoku Mine, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, Mineralogical Journal, 5(6), 417-433.
M. Shimizu, A. Kato, F. Matsuyama (1998): Two Se-bearing Ag–Bi Sulphosalts, Benjaminite and Matildite from the Ikuno Deposits, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, Au–Ag Mineralization in Polymetallic Zone. Resource Geology, 48, 117-124.
Address: Ikuno Silver Mine, Silver Ikuno Corporation, 33-5 Ono, Ikuno-cho, Asaga-shi, 〒679‑3324, Tel: +81-79‑679‑2010, Fax: +81-79‑679‑2755.
Asago City, 213-1 Higashidani, Wadayama Cho, Asago City, 〒669-5292, Tel: +81-79-672-3301, Fax: +81-79-672-4041.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

photography
Ikuno Silver Mine. Public Domain.
photography
Ikuno Silver Mine. Public Domain.
807 begin of silver mining at Ikuno during the Heian era.
1542 Ikuno Silver Mine opened by the governor of Tajima, Suketayo Yamana.
1582 Honnoji Incident, Hideyoshi Toyotomi installs a prefectural governor at Ikuno.
1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu comes to power and places a magistrate at Ikuno.
1716 magistrate abandoned and prefectural governor placed.
1868 under the direct control of the Meiji government, modernized by the French engineer Jean-François Coignet.
1876 road from Ikuno Mine and harbor Shikama in Himeji inaugurated with prime minister Hirobumi Ito.
1879 mine of Mikobata opened.
1885 road between Mikobata and Ikuno for the transportation of the ores opened.
1889 declared an Imperial Estate and placed under jurisdiction of the Imperial office of the Imperial Household Ministry.
1896 sold off to the Mitsubishi Company.
1906 Bantan railroad linking Shikama harbor in Himeji and Ikuno opened.
1970 collapse of mine tunnel.
1973 mine closed.
1974 historical site of Ikuno Mine opened to the public.
1987 Meibu mine and Mikobata ore plant closed.
2004 Mikobata processing site demolished.
2011 Ikuno Mine Museum opened.
18-MAR-2014 declared a National Important Cultural Landscape.

Geology

The rocks around Ikuno are sedimentary and igneous rocks of the Middle Cretaceous. Cracks in the rock are filled by hydrothermal polymetallic veins. While the ore was mined for the silver it also contains other metals like tin and gold. The main ores are chalcopyrite and sphalerite. The veins are layered with different minerals in each layer from the center to the surrounding rock. In total 75 different kinds of minerals were found. There are about 60 exploitable veins. The main vein is over 2.6km long and reaches a depth of 1km.


Description

photography
Mikobata ore processing plant. Public Domain.
photography
Mikobata ore processing plant. Public Domain.
photography
Kojihata bridge is Japan's oldest all-cast iron bridge. Public Domain.

生野鉱山 (Ikuno Silver Mine) is one of the great industrial heritages of Japan. During the Muromachi and Edo periods the mine has been controlled by feudal lords like Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Ieyasu Tokugawa. After the unification of Japan, the mine was under the direct control of the government. It was modernized and mechanized by the French engineer Jean-François Coignet. He increased the productivity substantially. With the restoration of the Emperor it was under the jurisdiction of the imperial estate.

The Ikuno Silver Mine visit includes the underground mine tour, the surface buildings, the mine museum and the Fukiya museum. The underground tour visits the 金香瀬坑 (Kankase Tunnel), which shows the modern mining with typical mining tools and technology. There is a mining train used for transporting ore and miners in and out of the mine. One of the shafts which are the connection to the lower levels of the mine is shown on the tour. The hoisting room with the huge hoisting drum is the highlight of the tour. An historic side historic tunnel from the Edo period shows manual excavating methods. The tunnel is only big enough for a single miner to walk through. Ore was manually carried out by the miners. In front of the mine is a bust of Jean-François Coignet, the French engineer wo modernized the mine. The entrance of the tunnel was built with French stonework.

The underground tour is completed by a 600m long surface trail which leads to the historic open cast mines of the 金香瀬 (Kankase Vein) which are called 慶寿ひ (Keijuhi). The silver ores were mined from the surface before the underground mine was opened. The trail is reached on the staircase on the left side of the tunnel mouth. The mining museum contains historic document, paintings and maps. Highlights are the historic map of the mine and the mine model from the Tokugawa era. It shows important details of historic mining technology like the Gangi ladder and the bamboo gutters for pumping up the water from the mine. The model is quite huge, 5.68m high and 14.4m wide and has a scale of 1:15. The museum also explains the division of labor, exploration, surveying, predicting earning, mining, and transporting. Despite the mining there was inspection of ore, labor management, drainage, ventilation work, and tunnel maintenance. And of course all the craftsmen producing the tools, gutter carpenter, digging carpenter, The museum also contains an art exhibition with art from the whole history of mining. There are works of calligraphy, oil paintings and silk tapestries.

The Fukuyima Museum shows the work patterns of all five steps of refining the silver from the ore. In Japanese this process was called 吹屋 (Fukiya), the workers were called 吹大工 (Fuki Carpenter) and the five steps were called

Additionally the Ikuno Mineral Museum (Ikuno Ginzan Culture Museum) can be visited. It contains explanatory panels and a large connection of mineral and all forms of local ores. At the mines 75 different minerals were found.

Beneath the Ikuno Silver Mine there is nearby Mikobata mine. The remains of the ore processing plant and concentrator at Mikobata is quite impressive. The third mine is Akenobu Mine, a tin mine in Meibu, and the ores from all three mines had to be transported to the harbour, the road built for this purpose is called ore road. Another important monument of industrial heritage are the five cast iron bridges for the road between the Mikobata Mine and the Ikuno Smelter. The road construction was from 1885 and 1887, the bridge Kojihata is Japan's oldest all-cast iron bridge. Another impressive example is Habuchi cast iron bridge. It was damaged during the typhoon of 1990 and restored to its original appearance in 1995. Also mine related is the Takashi Shimura Memorial, Kosha House was the former Ikuno mine staff dormitory.


Ikuno Silver Mine Gallery