Ikuno Mine is a fascinating piece of Japanese natural history. Ikuno was hand-mined for silver and other minerals by laborers for years before the advent of the industrial era, then converted to modern mining methods in the 1800s.
The mine buildings have been preserved in the old Japanese style.
There’s a waterfall by the mine entrance.
Exploring the surrounding areas will reveal actual silver veins in the rock.
Inside the mine itself, you’ll find modern tunnels and equipment that was used to mine up until the 1970s.
You can also see remains of the unbelievably narrow tunnels that the miners used to climb through in the Edo period.
After your tour of the mines, you can browse the museum and pay a visit to the activity room, where you can learn how to pan for silver! Finding the silver is harder than it looks – there’s a trick to it. And of course, you get to take home any silver you find.
There’s also a restaurant where you can try the famed Ikuno Curry, which apparently was beloved by the miners who worked here.
An interesting historical site in central Hyogo that would make a good side trip on your way to Kinosaki.
Ikuno Silver Mine
April-October: 9 AM – 5:30 PM
November: 9 AM – 5:00 PM
December-February: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
March: 9:30 AM – 5 PM
Address: 33-5 Ono Ikuno-cho, Asago-shi, Hyogo 679-3324
Website: http://www.ikuno-ginzan.co.jp/index.php (Japanese)
How To Get There
From Sannomiya: Take the Hamakaze limited express to Ikuno Station (87 mins). From the station, take the Ikuno Ginzan-guchi bus to the mine (10 mins).