April 10, 2017

Satsuma Kinzangura/Japan

This place is the former site of Kushikino Mine. This mine has a history of over 300 years and produced more than 50 tons of gold until the shutdown in 1994. Now the project of precious metal recycling is done.
Because the temperature of the tunnel is constant throughout the year,” Satsuma Kinzangura” uses some galleries to store and cultivate Shochu. You can ride the truck and visit the reservoir of Shochu, but you can’t experience gold panning.

Satsuma Shochu” is one of the origin-designated brands based on the WHO like "Bordeaux wine" and "Scotch whiskey".

Address: Noshita Ichikikushikino-shi Kagoshima-ken

Homepage of Satuma Kinzangura

April 7, 2017

Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park/Japan

The historical park "Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park" is located near World Cultural Heritage “Hiraizumi”.
It is a theme park that you can experience the history of Tohoku from ancient times to the middle ages.
In the garden of about 20 hectares, there are more than 120 buildings based on historical research. It has been used as the location for many TV dramas and movies.

Various events are taking place and the gold panning experience is held during the summer festival.

Address: Iwayado Esashi-ku Oshu-shi Iwate-ken

Homepage of Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park

April 4, 2017


There was a village of gold miner near the Tachiyazawa-river in the old age. There is no one who makes living by gold digging now, but there are people who dig gold as an individual hobby.

The event” Get rich quick Class” is held once a year.
The instructor will explain the history of gold digging and Japanese tools. After the lecture, you will receive guidance on gold panning in Tachiyazawa-river.

Address: Syounai-machi Higashitagawa-gun Yamagata-ken

Homepage of Tachiyazawa-river

March 31, 2017

Hosokura Mine-park/Japan

Hosokura mine was a leading mining company of lead and zinc in Japan, it has a history of 1200 years. This mine closed down in 1987 and now it is a theme park using tunnels. The work scenery has been faithfully reproduced in the tunnel. Cultural assets such as ancient documents are displayed in the exhibition room. You can experience gold panning in the pool.

Address: Nangou Uguisuzawa Kirihara-shi Miyagi-ken

Homepage of  Hosokura Mine-park

March 27, 2017

Taio Gold Mine/Japan

Gold ore was discovered in 1894. It was the largest gold mine in the Orient about 80 years until the closed mountain in 1972.
The total length of the tunnel was 110 km, and five shafts reaching 500 m underground were dug.
In 1983 it revived as "Underground Museum Taio Gold Mine”.

Also, you can enjoy gold panning in pool near the entrance.
The “Kyusyu Gold Panning Championship” is held once a year

Address:Gouse Nakatue-mura Hita-shi Ooita-ken

Homepage of Taio Gold Mine

March 22, 2017

Mikawa Mu-valley/Japan

This place is the tungsten mine closed in 1993. This mine has been reborn as the "Underground Kingdom Mikawa Mu-valley".
It is a unique adventure type theme park that explored 1 km of the tunnel as the stage.
The theme of this park is mysterious ancient civilization "Mu Continent".You can do gold panning experience in the pool and the pond.

Address:Nekasa Mikawa-machi Yamaguchi-ken

Homepage of Mikawa Mu-Valley

March 16, 2017

Maintopia Besshi/Japan

Besshi Copper Mine was discovered in 1690, it produced 700 thousand tons in about 280 years until 1973 and contributed to Japan's trade and modernization.
The Sumitomo family managed this mine and the copper related business became the cornerstone of the huge chaebol in Japan.

Maintopia Besshi is a theme park which used old facilities of Besshi Copper Mine. Mine tourism and gold panning in the pool can be done. Some of the gold flakes has stamp of raccoon, if you can collect 3 pieces, you will exchange for 5 g gold bar.

Address:Tachikawa Niihama-shi Ehime-ken Japan

Homepage of Minetopia Besshi

March 10, 2017

Ikuno Silver Mine/Japan

This place is Silver Mine. It is said that the first digging was done in 1542.It is one of the leading silver mines in Japan and produced 1,700 tons of silver by the close of the mountain in 1973.
Currently, it is maintained as "Historic site of Ikuno Silver Mine". We can see tunnels and the mining museum.
This is not a gold mine, but you can wash sand in pan to separate out (gold, silver and tin) in the pool.

Address: Kono Ikuno-cho Asago-shi Hyogo-ken

Homepage of Ikuno Silver Mine

March 5, 2017

Toi Gold Mine/Japan

Toi Gold Mine was dug by about 1370, the first Golden Age was around 1600, the second Golden Age was around 1900, and closed in 1965. Estimated output amount is 40 t of gold, 400 t of silver.
After that, the inside of the tunnel was opened to the general tourists, and you can experience gold panning in the pool.
Also in 2005, 250 kg of gold bar were exhibited and that was registered in Guinness Book.

The gold panning competition is held once a year. The competition takes place in a classified water tank, competing for the number of gold flakes taken within the time limit.
This has not been adopted in the World Gold Panning Championship.The winner can get 5 g of gold nugget.

Address:Toi Izu-shi Shizuoka-ken Japan

Homepage of Toi Gold Mine

February 28, 2017

Yu-no-oku museum of Gold Mining History/Japan

Yu-no-oku Museum is in the “Shimobe Hot Spring” town.
This hot spring is said to be a secret place of the famous military commander “Shingen Takeda” in the 1500's.
In the nearby mountain there is gold mine developed by him and trace of mining is seen.
There are various kinds of exhibits at the museum and you can  enjoy gold panning in the pool.
The “Gold Mine Museum Goldpanning Championship” is held once a year for two days.
This championship is the largest number of participants in Japan. The first day is an ordinary person, on the second day school competition which is a rare program in the world.
Also, lovers of gold digging gather at this place on holidays.

Address:Minobu-tyo Minamikuma-gun Yamanashi-ken

Homepage of Yu-no-oku museum of Gold Mining History

February 24, 2017

Oppara Dream Union/Japan

Oppara Dream Union manages camping site and nature experience events near the road station "Pascal Kiyomi".
It is in the mountainous area of the western side from Takayama-city where old Japanese streets remain.
There was a small gold mine nearby. You can experience gold panning in the pool at the Nature Experience Center and you can receive guidance on mineral collection in the river.

The “Hida-takayama Gold Panning Championship” is held once a year.

Address: Oppara Kiyomi-tyo Takayama-city Gifu-ken

Homepage of Oppara Dream Association

Homepage of road station ‘Pasukaru Kiyomi’

Old townscape of Takayama-city
  These are festival cars ’Yatai’ used at the Takayama Festival

Venue for gold panning competition

February 20, 2017

Sado Nishimikawa Gold Park/Japan

This facility is located in Sado Island, and it is necessary to cross from Niigata-city by ferry.
Placer gold was discovered in this area around 1100, and a large amount of gold dug in the 1600s. In this facility, you can experience gold panning in the pool.

Home page of Sado Nishimikawa Gold Park

Sado-city tourist information site

February 17, 2017

Sado Gold Mine/Japan

The mine was developed around 1600 and closed in 1989. This is the largest gold and silver mine in Japan, and this mine produced about 80 tons of gold and 2,300 tons of silver during the 400 years.
There is a tour around historic sites such as tunnels.

Address: Shimoaikawa Sado-shi Niigata-ken Japan

Homepage of Sado Gold Mine

February 13, 2017

Gold Park Narumi/Japan

This Narumi Gold Mine was discovered in the year 802, and it produced 1/3 of the total output in Japan around 1600.
It closed down in 1945. The “Gold Park Narumi” was maintained in this place.
We can tour the mine and take gold panning in the pool.
This theme park hand down the history of mining to future generations.

Address: Takane Murakami-shi Niigata-ken

Homepage of Murakami City

February 10, 2017

Tenpyou Romankan/japan

This is the first place where gold was discovered in Japan in 749.It was presented to the Emperor and used for plating Todaiji Great Buddha. Current appearance of Great Buddha is bronze color, but at the time of construction, it was plated by the gold amalgam method.
Many goods related to gold  are displayed in Tenpyou Romankan.
Also, you can experience gold panning in the pool. Even now, placer gold can be collected around this area, but mining is prohibited in the historic site area.
You can buy goods related to gold at the shop.

Address:Ogonyama Wakuya-tyo Tooda-gun Miyagi-ken

Homepage of Tenpei Roman Palace

Yookan(sweet jelly made from bean jam) with gold leaf

February 6, 2017

Osarizawa Mine/Japan

Osarizawa mine is a copper mine, it was discovered around 700 and started full-scale since 1600 and closed in 1978.
"Historic Site of Ozorasawa Mine" was built on the former site.
You can observe industrial sites such as mining and refining fields.

In the old days, gold digging was done in this nearby river. You can experience gold panning in the pool at the site of this mine.

Address: Shishikozawa Osarizawa Kazuno-shi Akita-ken

The homepage of this mine

February 3, 2017

Rekifune-river Gold Mining Experience/japan

Since around 1635, "beach gold" was dug in the coast of Rekifune River, and around 1900 the mining of "river gold" in the Rekifune River reached its peak.
The place where we can dig placer gold is the Rekifune River in front of Kamuikotan Park, and there are volunteer managers.
Individuals can borrow Japanese tools ”Yuriita” and “Catcha” at the roadside station Cosmol Taiki.
When group wants instructor, reservation to Taiki Town Sightseeing Association  is necessary.

Address: [Kamuikotan park] aza-Oda Taiki-tyo Hiroo-gun Hokkaido

Roadside station”Kosumoru Taiki”

Taiki Town Sightseeing Association


January 31, 2017

Pechan-river Gold Prospecting Place/Japan

This place is near “Usotan-nai Gold Panning Park”, and can dig placer gold in the actual river. There are instructors and you can borrow gold pan, shovels and boots.
The "Gold Festival" is held in August, there is the competition to compete how much gold can be collected within 1 hour in the river
Also, you can experience gold panning in the pool at the nearby roadside station "Pinneshli".

Address: Peichan Nakatonbetu-tyo Esashi-gun Hokkaido Japan

[Gold digging in Pechan River]

[Gold panning in water tank at roadside station ”Pinneshiri”

January 27, 2017

Usotan-nai Gold Panning Park/Japan

In this area at the northern end of Hokkaido, the gold rush occurred around 1900.  “Usotan-nai” is a gold prospecting place where you can dig placer gold in an actual river using Japanese traditional tools "Uriita" and "Katcha".  
There are instructors, gold digging tools and boots are rented for a fee. You can’t use gold pan or sluice in the park.
In 2002, World Gold Panning Championship was held at the shore of “Lake Kutcharo” in Hamatonbetsu Town.  Many photos of the world gold panning championship are decorated in the guest houses at the gold panning park.

Address: Hamatonbetsu-tyo Esashi-gun Hokkaido Japan

[Photos and results at 2002 World Gold Panning Championship- Hamatonbetsu]

January 20, 2017

The place where gold panning is done in Japan

Japan was introduced as the golden country "Zipangu" in the past. There were many mines that produced gold, but now they are almost scrapped and there are few places for tourists.
Although there are people who dig gold  in a natural river as a hobby, the amount that can be taken is small.
I summarized the information in a table that contains gold panning competitions ,experience places for gold panning, and mine tourist facilities.
The details of these facilities are described from the next articles.

Facilities relate to gold in Japan

A: competition
       B: gold panning in pool, C: gold panning in river
       D: mine tourism


Name of Facility






Usotan-nai Gold Panning Park



Pechan-river Gold Prospecting Place


Rekifune-river: Gold Minig Experience



Osarizawa Mine



Tenpyou Romankan




Gold Park Narumi




Sado Gold Mine




Sado Nishimikawa Gold Park



Oppara Dream Union


Yu-no-oku Museum of Gold Mining History



Toi Gold Mine



Ikuno Silver Mine




Maintopia Besshi




Mikawa Mu-valley




Taio Gold Mine



Hosokura Mine-park




Tachiyazawa-river: Gold Prospecting





Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park





Satsuma Kinzangura




Map of facilities related to gold in Japan