This is an underground shrine.
Like Underground Shrine! “Oya History Museum” is a hot topic. The former underground mine site of “Oya Stone” is now attracting attention as a tourist spot in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. The hall is cool even in midsummer.
Oyaishi is a stone produced in the Oya-machi area of Utsunomiya. It is called green tuff and has been widely used as a building material because it is softer and lighter than other stones and has fire resistance. For example, the former Imperial Hotel is famous for its architecture.
“Oya History Museum” is a former site that used to be an underground mine at Oya Stone. Mining was carried out from 1919 to 1986. The former quarry is open to the public.A large scale that overturns the image of “Museum”, which is 30 meters underground and is 21,000 square meters. As you enter the tunnel from the ground and get off, you will feel strange that you are lost in another world.
Furthermore, the summer temperature of the underground facility is around 10 degrees, so it is cool. The best part is the quarry site where the stone was cut out. This is an underground shrine. Even the shaved stone wall pattern can be seen in the ruins. The lights up are fantastic and you can forget the heat for a while.
The stylish building attached to the Oya History Museum is “ROCKSIDE MARKET”. The interior with plenty of Oya Stone creates a high sense of atmosphere. The store is a select shop for cafes and miscellaneous goods.
At the cafe, soba flour galettes and gelato are very popular. In summer, shaved ice using natural water is also sold.
The shop is lined with craft works and miscellaneous goods from artists based in Tochigi, making it a perfect souvenir. It seems that you can discover the new charm of Utsunomiya, not just dumplings.
Charms and Highlights of Oya History Museum
Quarry ruins that overwhelm what you see in a huge space
Oya History Museum is located in Utsunomiya city, Tochigi prefecture. Utilizing “Oya History Museum” it is now popular as a museum. Attracted by the vast underground world of about 21,000 square meters, many people visit throughout the year. Also, it is used as a place to shoot music videos and movies here.
Oyo Town, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, has developed as a quarry from the Edo period. Oya stone is a sturdy stone that can only be mined in this region. It is a tuff made of volcanic activity about 20 million years ago, it is light, soft and easy to process.
Mining was conducted in Oya Town for about 70 years from 1919 to 1986. The main use of Oya stone is used in places where people can see it, such as platforms of train station, stairs, gate, stone walls, etc. It is Oya History Museum that introduces the history of the Oya stone. It was opened in 1979 in order to leave trace of the mining site of a special product of Oya stone in future generations. The Otani underground quarry site 30 meters below the ground is about 21,000 square meters. When a worker was digging a stone by hand, they carried 150 kilometers of stone one by one, and its hardship can be felt from traces of picks carved on the wall.
Speaking of Oya History Museum, it is a space of a huge quarry trace that it would awe on-lookers. That pillar and staircase looks like an underground shrine. There, the lighting is also dark, and it seems to have entered the different dimension world.
In addition, at the museum, the history and transition on Oya stone mining are introduced in an easy-to-understand manner. Materials such as mining tools and transport equipment are also on display. In addition, it is used for various uses such as art museums and churches. In the Oya History Museum there are shops and tea rooms selling souvenirs such as accessories and handmade items using Oya stone.
21,000 square meters
The remains of the Oyaishi stone underground mining place were used till 1986, in order to obtain the Oyaishi stones. Since it was working about 67 years, huge underground space to the extent that 21,000 square meters, an average depth of 30 m, and one baseball field enter was made.
At the museum knowing a history of the digging of the Oyaishi stone, it displays the documents such as changes of the transportation, a tool and hand‐cut digging method from the middle of Edo era when digging began in in earnest to about 1959.
The deepest place is 60m below ground
The best part in the museum is the remains of the underground mining place. There is space of 21,000 square meters, the deepest place is 60m below ground. The average temperature in the tunnel is around 8 degrees Celsius.
The total harvest yields were approximately 10 million blocks
The quantity per one block of the strip-mined stone was approximately 15cm *30cm *90cm, total harvest yields from the mine were approximately 10 million blocks.
Used as building materials
As for the Oyaishi stone, digging is still carried out, it is used as building materials. It is a kind of the tufa which volcanic ashes and pumice are piled up 20 million years ago.
Used also as a wedding hall now
This place was used as the factory and a provision store of fighter plane in the wartime period. It is used as location sites of a movie and the concert halls now, or a church exists in inside further now, and it is used also as a wedding hall.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Name:||Oya History Museum|
|Adresse:||Oyamachi 909 Utsunomiya, Tochigi 321-0345 Japan|
|Access:||Tobu Utsunomiya-sen Line “Tobu-Utsunomiya-eki Station” (20 minutes by bus)|
|Price:||800 yen (Adult)|
400 yen (Junior High School Students or Elementary School Children)
Free (Preschool Kids)
Please refer the official web page.