Visit Toi Kinzan (Gold Mine Museum) to see examples of the different forms gold can take, learn about the manufacturing processing involved in turning the raw gold into a commodity and explore nearly 100 kilometres (60 miles) of tunnel used by miners in the region.
For nearly four centuries, the Izu Peninsula stood at the heart of Japan’s gold industry. The largest of the peninsula’s mines was located in Toi and is today a major tourist attraction of the region.
Walk through the museum galleries to learn about the different techniques used for gold mining in Japan. While the mine in Toi hasn’t been operational since the late 17th century, some extremely advanced techniques were used. See the various pans, sieves and mechanical devices used by miners.
Take a look at the large collection of gold nuggets from various gold regions of Japan. See the differences in size, texture and colour as you compare each. One of the most popular attractions at the museum is the world’s largest gold bar. Certified as the largest by the Guinness Book of World Records, the bar weighs 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and is worth many millions of dollars.
Try your luck at finding your own gold. Tour some of the 100 kilometres (60 miles) of tunnels and pan for gold in the Sakin-kan hall. Sieve dirt and water through your pan as you search for the gold flecks. While most of the big nuggets have long been found, it’s common to find smaller pieces which make for memorable souvenirs.
Toi Kinzan is located in the town of Toi, on the western coast of the Izu Peninsula. The town is best reached by car or bus and there is free parking at the museum. The museum is open daily and an admission fee applies.