The Role of the Stone Mill in the History of the Gold and Silver Mines

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  • Beginners
  • Families
  • 1 – 10 people
  • 1 – 2 hours

A miraculous discovery that created an island of gold

The stone mill is one technology among many that resulted in the prosperity of the Sado Gold and Silver Mines. Just like gold ore, the rock used for stone mills was produced on Sado Island, and originally created by the geological activities of the earth!

  •  Geopark Interpretive Panel
  •  Signs
  • Bus Stop


  • Information Center Kirarium Sado
  • 1Stone wall of Daijingu
  • 2Fault plane of the Aoban Vein (Located at the Mine’s 5th Parking Area)
  • [Optional] Seriba (Sado Magistrate's Office)
  • 3Fukiage Coast (Site of stone quarries)

Information Center Kirarium Sado

Let’s meet at the seaside parking area!

Meet at Information Center Kirarium Sado’s parking area. We will start the course by exploring this guidance facility for the Sado Gold and Silver Mines.

1Stone wall of Daijingu

Observe some strange stones in this stone wall!

Millstones, once used in the Sado Gold and Silver mines, are embedded in this shrine’s stone wall – like a piece of art! Let’s learn more about the relationship between the indispensable millstone and the gold and silver mines.

2Fault plane of the Aoban Vein (Located at the Mine’s 5th Parking Area)

The site of the largest vein of the Sado Gold and Silver Mines!

This huge vein is approximately 2 km long, 6m wide, and 500m deep. Ores extracted from this vein were later ground by stone mill to extract gold and silver.

[Optional] Seriba (Sado Magistrate's Office)

Let’s see how the stone mill was used long ago!

The Sado Magistrate’s Office was established by the Tokugawa Shogunate to directly administer Sado Island. This exhibition teaches how the millstones, just like the ones we saw in the stone wall of Daijingu, were used in the processing of gold and silver ores.

Visiting the Sado Magistrate’s Office is optional, and an additional entrance fee is required. The guided tour takes about 3 hours.

To add on this option, please indicate your interest in the “Remarks” section of the application form.

Basic Info about the Sado Magistrate's Office


Hiroma-machi 1-1, Aikawa, Sado-city, Niigata, 952-1531



Business hours



Adults/500 yen, Elementary/Junior high school students/200 yen, Group discounts available for groups of 15 or more

4Fukiage Coast (Site of stone quarries)

A hunt for materials used to create stone mills!

Let’s think about the characteristics suitable for making stone mills while observing stones on the coast!

This coast is a nationally designated scenic spot, so we ask that visitors refrain from bringing stones home. Any stones picked up for observation should be returned to their original location.

From our geo-guide

This course introduces visitors to the significance of stone mills that were used in the processing of ores. Generations of mining activities were made possible thanks to the discovery of ores and millstones, both of which originated during the geological formation of Sado Island.

Take a stroll in a geopark!