- Kyomachi Street
A history-steeped street connecting the Sado Commissioner's Office and Kinzan Gold Mine
Kyomachi Street is a main street that connects Aikawa's gold and silver mines with the Sado Commissioner's Office. Kyomachi Street leads up the hill from Shimokyomachi, where the time bell tower is located, through Nakakyomachi to Kamikyomachi. In the past, many residences of both mine-related workers and merchants used to stand side-by-side on this street. The street itself, studded with narrow alleyways, is a reminder of the haphazard town planning that took place during Aikawa's time of prosperity. A symbolic event of Kyomachi Street, "Yoi-no-mai", is held in early June. Dancers, clad in kimonos of the past, dance to the Aikawa Ondo folk song and accompanying music.
Facility Basic Information
- Aikawa (Kamikyomachi, Nakakyomachi, Shimokyomachi) Sado, Niigata
- Transport Access
- Ryotsu Port Approx 50 minutes by car
- Nearest bus stop
- Sado Hangamura （Honsen [Main Line], Nanaura Kaigansen Line） Approx. 1 minute on foot from bus stop
Gold and Silver Mines Heritage and Relics
Time Bell Tower
Time signal in Aikawa Town started in 1709, by striking taiko drums set within the Sado Commissioner's Office. The first "time bell" was cast with Sado-produced bronze in 1712, under the ordinance of Shigehide Ogiwara, a Sado Commissioner. The time bell rang out to let people know the time until around 1871, but it then went silent. The bell recently began striking again, in the morning and evening. The brick wall is part of a former court building, and the inside serves as the Sado Hangamura (print art) Museum.
Museums, Art Galleries and Resource Centres
Sado Hangamura Museum
Sado Hangamura Museum exhibits a collection of woodblock prints, which are the crowning achievements of the woodblock engraving movement led by late Shinichi Takahashi, a woodblock-print artist and high school teacher. Approximately 260 pieces, centering around Mr. Takahashi's posthumous works and works by amateur artists living in Sado, are on permanent display. You will encounter a variety of print art, including woodblock, copperplate and silk screen prints. The museum also hosts monthly exhibitions and woodblock print workshops (for a fee). The museum building is housed in the former Aikawa Summary Court, the architecture of which contains traces of the Meiji Period.
Shrines and Buddhist Temples Plants
Daianji was established in 1606 by Nagayasu Okubo, the first Commissioner of Sado. A long, beautifully cobbled path leads up to the Sanmon gate, and the main hall features the temple crest of three leaves of hollyhock in a circle. The temple houses a memorial tower built by Nagayasu Okubo prior to his death, and a memorial tower for Hikozaemon Kawamura who was involved in the early-stage development of the Sado gold and silver mines. Both towers are National Historic Sites. This temple also holds the burial grounds for officials who served the Sado Commissioner's Office. A spectacular Machilus thunbergii (bay tree) grove, a Sado Natural Monument, stands behind the graveyard. Drastic urbanization due to the development of the mines significantly changed the landscape of the Aikawa area. Still, groves within the grounds of temples and shrines retain their native vegetation. Many plants such as the giant Machilus thunbergii, camellia and Euonymus japonicus (Japanese spindle) grow in the dense natural woodland of Daianji Temple.
Stores where you can eat and drink nearby
Tea House/Coffee Shop Italian Cuisine
Converted from an old Japanese-style house in the Aikawa area, this dining establishment offers a hotel-like atmosphere with a sense of Sado's long-standing traditions. Enjoy dishes highlighting Sado-sourced ingredients while taking in the stunning views of Aikawa. The outdoor terrace is a perfect spot to enjoy a warm and sunny day. This spot also offers a space for rent, so exhibitions and live entertainment are a common occurrence.
Townscape Other Tea House/Coffee Shop
Gashima Cinema is located on historical Kyomachi Street, which connects Sado Gold and Silver Mine with the Sado Commissioner's Office. This former residence of the Sado Gold Mine captain, built about 80 years ago, has been converted into a café while maintaining the ambiance of the olden days. A monthly featured film is shown daily, and a monthly book corner provides movie-related books. An old carbon arc film projector, which was once used at an actual movie theatre, is on display. This spot is perfect for a break on a stroll through history, in the old mining town of Aikawa.
Fish Dishes Sushi
Gin Zushi is an authentic sushi bar located on the Haneda shopping street. Beyond the noren [entrance curtains] awaits a counter made of a single plate. Seasonal fresh seafood is displayed in a sushi topping showcase. Among the menu items, "Sado Sushi" comes highly recommended. This is a good-value meal of sushi, with the day's choice toppings gleaned from the day's catch in the surrounding sea. They also offer a wide selection of à la carte dishes unique to Sado, such as squid dried for one night and mozuku seaweed.
Casual Eatery Set menus/Rice bowls/Kamameshi(hot pot rice) Soba (buckwheat) and Udon Noodles Tempura/Deep-Fried Dishes
Udon and soba (buckwheat) noodles kneaded freshly in the morning everyday has maintained a great reputation. Isonoya offers an ample selection of noodles including noodles with curry, along with a choice of set meals and donburi (rice with toppings). Isonoya's Set Meal, their number 1 recommendation includes assorted tempura, salad, half-size rice, and a small portion of udon or soba noodles. Fresh tempura is popular for its deliciousness.