The El Dorado of the Orient: Taio Kinzan Gold Mine

JNTO

Mar 15, 2018

Oita Prefecture’s village of Nakatsue (now part of Hita City) gathered a lot of national attention when it became the base camp of the Cameroon national team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea. Here is located the old “Taio Kinzan Gold Mine”, which was once the largest gold mine in the Orient. It has now been transformed into “Taio Gold Mine Underground Museum”, where you can actually wander the tunnels and see the equipment and environment as it was back in its active days. The Temperature is always kept at 14 degrees Celsius throughout the year, which makes it cool in summer and rather warm in winter. Being underground it is also sheltered from rain, and thus the gold mine is always nice to visit.

The museum offers even the chance to actually try your hand at some gold picking! The experience consists of scooping water in a plate, sloshing it around and waiting for gold dust to appear. Regardless of your age, the gold fever will certainly get you. If you collect enough gold dust within a specific timeframe you can save it in a nice small vial, or have made into a key-holder or a pendant. It will be a fine souvenir.

A menu is available with dishes from the time of the mine’s heyday like “Miner’s Curry” and “Cameroon Soft Ice Cream”, in which a cherry is topped on green wasabi ice cream to imitate the Cameroon’s flag.

Taio Gold Mine Underground Museum
Phone: 0973-56-5316

* This is the information as of June, 2017
For further detail, please visit
https://japanbyjapan.com/kyushu/index.html

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