Gold Mine history of sado island

The Gold Mine is one of popular tourist sights in SADO Island.

The history started from 3 miners founding veins of gold in a mountain and digging them by hands in 1601.

In 1603, the SADO Magistrate’s Office was established to govern SADO Gold and Silver Mine.

SADO Magistrate’s Office

SADO is also known as the island in exile, and aristocracies and intellectual people who had defeated in political struggle were sent as well as criminals who had perpetrated wrongdoing.

And many of them worked at the Gold Mine and made small oval gold coins, and these small oval gold coins supported Tokugawa shogunate in Edo period then.

In 1869, government decided to bring engineers from western countries and accelerated mechanize the procedure there.

It became an imperial estate in 1889, and contributed to the modernization of Japanese industry as mining model.

In 1896, the ownership was transferred to the Mitsubishi joint-stock company, and finally became the biggest Gold and Silver Mine in Japan.

Total length of the vein were 3,000 meters from east to west, 600 meters from south to north and 800 meters deep.

These mining gallery look like big ant colony, and the length was about 400 km which is the distance between SADO Island and Tokyo.

The total mined gold was 78 ton, and silver 2330 ton.

Finally, in 1989, it was closed and history of gold mine ended its 400-year history.

Feel history of sado island

Feel the history in Aikawa

You can see inside of mine, and visit gold museum at SADO Gold Mine. Also, you can challenge to take out a real gold bar out of a box there, too.

And at the end of your walk, you can taste ice cream and cup of coffee with gold leaf there. 🙂

SADO Gold Mine
– Address: 1305, Shimo Aikawa, SADO City, Niigata, 952-1501
– TEL: 0259-74-2389
– E-mail:
– Open:
Apr-Oct, 8:00A.M.-5:30P.M.
Nov-Mar, 8:30A.M.-5:00P.M.
– Reservation: Necessary only in case of group tour
– The closest bus stop: “SADO Kinzan Mae” on #1 or #6
Official Website

A cool souvenir shop in SADO

Quaint cafe&restaurant in Aikawa

Before going to SADO Gold Mine

Japanese SOBA restaurant around Gold Mine

Japanese quaint cafe after enjoying the Gold Mine