The Oya History Museum in Tochigi prefecture has areas 30-60 meters above the ground, often used for concerts.
The Oya History Museum was opened in 1979, displaying many artifacts that are quarry tools and historical information about the Oya quarry. What makes visitors coming here for the first time cannot help but be surprised is the entrance to the museum connected to the underground mine.
The tour guide said that Oya stone – a type of rock formed from lava and ash appeared only in the Oya area, Utsunomiya city about 1,500 years ago. At this time, people in the area knew how to get stones to build burial rooms. More extensive mining operations were carried out from the 1930s to 1986.
Later, the mine was used as part of a museum. Visitors when visiting will follow the pre-set path with signs.
In 1986, mining activities were stopped. The quarry was later used as part of a museum.
Several models are placed on the sides to recreate the action of taking stones.
The quarry is 20,000 square meters wide, located at a depth of 30-60 meters. Electric lights are lit in all areas allowing visitors to visit.
Traces created by quarrying tools remain on the walls.
The museum is located deep in the ground so the sound emitted here has a distant echo. Some parts of the mine have been used by many Japanese bands as a performance space.
Pictures of concerts and shows are displayed on a wall.
The museum’s remaining space is on the ground, not too wide. Here, you have the opportunity to learn about the history of the quarry as well as see first-hand the tools used by people in quarrying activities.
Temperatures below the museum range from 5 to 8 degrees Celsius. You should prepare thick clothing to keep warm.
Located in the northwestern part of Utsunomiya city, Oya History Museum is one of the must-see stops in the journey to discover Tochigi prefecture, Japan. Outside the museum, there are cafes, shops selling souvenirs made of stone.
The museum is located at: 909 Oyamachi, Utsunomiya, Tochigi, 321-0345. Admission for adults is 800 yen (about 160,000 VND), children 400 yen (about 80,000 VND). The museum is open from 9am to 5pm.
Directions: From JR Utsunomiya Station (west exit), take bus number 45 to Tateiwa and get off at the Shirinois Iriguchi bus stop. There are 1-3 trips per hour, it takes 30 minutes, 450 yen (90,000 VND) per person. The museum is a five-minute walk from the bus stop.