362 Ginzanshinbata, Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture 〒999-4333.
Follow road through Ginzanshinhata to the end, then follow the trail along the Senshin Gorge.
APR to NOV no restrictions.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Nobesawa Ginkodo, 362 Ginzanshinbata, Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture 〒999-4333.
Ginzan Onsen Tourist Information Center, Ginzanshinhata, Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, Tel: +81-237-28-3933.
Obanazawa City Commerce and Tourism Division, 1-1-3 Wakabacho, Obanazawa City, Yamagata Prefecture, Tel: +81-237-22-1111, Fax: +81-237-22-3222. E-mail:
Obanazawa City Tourism and Products Association, 6-1-16 Kanmachi, Obanazawa-shi, Yamagata 999-4292, Palette Square, Tel: +81-237-23-4567, Fax: +81-237-23-4568. E-mail:
|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.
|1456||silver ore discovered.|
|1689||mine collapses and is abandoned.|
|designated a National Historic Site.|
銀坑洞 (Ginkodo, Silver Mine Cave) or 延澤銀坑洞 (Nobesawa Ginkodo, Nobesawa Silver Mine Cave) was new to us, we actually have never seen something like this before. This is a historic silver mine which was developed as a show mine with elevated trails, staircases and even roofs against the dripping water above the trail, and electric light. And now the strange part: it is completely free and open around the clock. The light goes on automatically when visitors arrive and goes off again after some time. And unlike other show mines in Asia, there is neither coloured light, nor any animatronic or wax dolls, and they even omitted the croaking explanations from loudspeakers. Some would pay a lot of money to visit such a show mine, and here you get it for free. Oh, not completely free, there is short walk of about 300 m from Ginzan Onsen required. And you can see visitors in yukata (Japanese bathrobe) who made a short walk between two visits to the sauna to see the mine.
A samurai named Nobesawa ruled the region during the Warring States period. At this time the development of Obanazawa began. According to legend the silver ore was discovered by a man from Kanazawa named Giga Ichirozaemon in 1456. Nobesawa Ginzan mine was mined at least since the Muromachi period. It was one of the important silver mines during the Edo period. During its heydays it was one of the three most important mines, together with the Iwami Ginzan in Shimane and the Ikuno Silver Mine in Hyogo. But in the 17th century the ores were almost depleted, production sank. And after a mine collapse in 1689 it was abandoned.