尾小屋鉱山

Ogoya Mine - Ogoya Mine Museum - Ogoya mainrōdo - Ogoyamachi Mine Tunnel - Onoya Mine Tunnel


Useful Information

Location: 1-1 Ogoyamachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa 923-0172.
National Highway No. 8, take National Highway No. 416 to Ookuradake Ski Resort. Immediately before.
(36.296697, 136.537480)
Open: 25-MAR to NOV Mon-Tue, Thu-Sun, Hol 9-17.
Last entry 16:30.
[2022]
Fee: Adults JPY 500, Children (0-14) free, Disabled free, Seniors free.
Groups (20+): Adults JPY 400.
[2022]
Classification: MineCopper Mine MineLead Mine MineZinc Mine MineIron Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:
Address: Ishikawa Prefectural Ogoya Mine Museum, 1-1 Ogoyamachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa 923-0172, Tel: +81-761-67-1122, Fax: +81-761-67-1122. 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.

History

1682 first mention of mining.
1879 early mining by Yasomatsu Yoshida and others.
1881 Ryuhei Yokoyama buys all the mining rights and founded the Ryuhokan/Ogoya Mine.
1884 Otani vein found.
1904 Ogoya Mine and the Hirakin Mine (Gifu Prefecture) merged to form Yokoyama Mining Department.
1931 sold to Miyagawa Mining Co., Ltd.
1955 mine reaches its peak production.
1962 Ogoya Mine Motoyama closed.
1971 Otani mine and Kinpei mine closed.
1984 museum opened to the public.
APR-1992 underground tour added to the museum.

Geology

The mining was based on high grade polymetallic ores like chalcopyrite (copper), galena (lead) sphalerite (zinc), and various iron sulfide ores.


Description

尾小屋鉱山資料館 (Ogoya kōzan shiryōkan, Ogoya Mine Museum) is a mining related museum located in the village Ogoyamachi. The museum displays the history and the working conditions of 尾小屋鉱山 (Ogoya kōzan, Ogoya Mine). A huge picture shown the state during its heydeys in the 1930s. There is a geology exhibition completed with a mineral and ore exhibition. The museum was built in a former mine building. It was opened in 1984 to convey the valuable industrial heritage and culture of the Ogoya Mine.

There is also a section which explains the processing of Karami, produced in the refining process, into hexagonal column building materials. Karami is waste material, slag from the smelting process, which remains after the copper is extracted from the ore. At first, it was deposited on slag heaps, but then they discovered how to form it into octagonal blocks. It was quite simple to build foundations or walls, and so it was used widely in the mine for buildings and retaining walls. Soon it became also popular as a building material in town, and Ogoyamachi today has a unique design which is a result of the use of the black and solid Karami. The octagonal paterns resemble basalt pillars.

The entry to the mining museum includes a visit to the 尾小屋マインロード (Ogoya mainrōdo, Ogoyamachi Mine Tunnel), which seem to be an underground mine tour. The horizontal tunnel leading into the mountain is suppoerted by iron frames with wooden beams. The floor is concrete, obviously a later addition for the comfort of the visitors. Inside there is a series of mining scenes with machinery and dolls showing the typical working processes. During the Edo period the miners only wore a loincloth and a headband, the work was strenuous and exhausting. And due to the lack of protective measures very dangerous. Another scene shows the working conditions during the Showa period, a miner with working boot, sturdy clothes, helmet and face protector loads ore into a mine cart.

Early mining by Yasomatsu Yoshida and others began in 1879. Ryuhei Yokoyama, the 13th generation of the Yokoyama family, who was the chief retainer of the Kaga domain, and his uncle, Takaoki Yokoyama, joined the group. Ryuhei Yokoyama bought all the mining rights and founded the 隆宝館・尾小屋鉱山 (Ryuhokan and Ogoya Mine) in 1881. Only a decade later, in 1904, Ogoya Mine and the Hirakin Mine in Gifu Prefecture were merged to form Yokoyama Mining Department. It became one of Japan's leading mining companies. But in the 1920s the managmen lost its focus and finally in 1931 the company was sold to Miyagawa Mining Co., Ltd., and then transferred to Nippon Mining Co., Ltd. During war production increased, but after the war all operations were suspended. After a few years mining resumed and reached its peak production around 1955. The mining finally ends for a number of reasons, the high-quality ore is depleted, the smelting costs increas, and cheap copper imports from the world market make the mine unprofitable. In 1962, the Ogoya Mine Motoyama was closed. Otani mine and Kinpei mine became independent, but they also closed in 1971. Hokuriku Mine Co., Ltd. exists until today. They operate as environmental conservation company for the prevention of water pollution from slag heaps.

Another site which is a good addition is the Poppo Train Museum across the road. The stem locomotives were used to transport the ore away from the mine. From 1920 to 1977, the Ogoya Railway ran 16.8 km between Ogoya Station and Shin-Komatsu Station. Today nothing is left of the rails. The volunteers of the Ogoya Railway Protection Association recently restored a mine cart which is now part of the open air exhibition. There are also events where it is possible to ride an Ogoya Mine Train or Kiha 3, which is a sort of tram.