Minetopis Besshi is located in Niihama city, Ehime prefecture.
It’s an amusement facility that utilizes part of the old Besshi copper mine; one of the 3 biggest in Japan.
Among many other beautiful flowers, the winter cherry blossoms as well as hot springs and barbecuing are all popular, but this time we’d like to introduce a copper mine where you can enjoy an almost Indie Jones-like view of the world.
We’ll ride this copper mine train to reach the copper mine tunnel entrance.
It’s so cool!!
After passing over a bridge and going through a tunnel, we’re heading towards the mine entrance.
This railroad was apparently actually used by the copper mine!
After reaching the final stop, you’ll want to try one of these before doing anything else.
Sold near to where the train stops, iyokan (citrus fruit) soft serve ice cream is an Ehime local gourmet.
Be sure to try it – It’s so yummy!
And then, we finally head inside the copper mine.
Edo period mining is re-enacted using mannequins.
At that time, there were of course no pneumatic drills, and just by looking you can see how incredibly heavy labor must have been.
So, this was a place that supported economic growth at the time…
Moving on, time passes, and Besshi copper mine scenes from the Meiji to the Taisho era have been reproduced in the form of an enormous diorama.
Irresistible for diorama-lovers, if you press the switch, the mannequins and copper mine train begin moving.
Moving on, you can also take the elevator to the underground world 1000 meters below.
As the elevator doors open, you are faced with a real Indie Jones kind of ambience.
The interior is a bit like a maze, so do your best not to get lost! 🙂
There is also a corner for taking commemorative photographs while lifting an enormous rock. I assumed it would be really light, but it was actually quite heavy!
The exit is a stone tunnel that shines mysteriously.
To think that this would be waiting for us at the end!
Do go and try some sightseeing at the copper mine. It’s fun and has a great feeling of adventure!
There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Minetopia Besshi, too…
Location: 707-3 Tatsukawa-cho, Niihama city, Ehime prefecture
Open (Copper mine sightseeing): From spring holidays thru Oct. 9.00-18.00, Nov. 9.00-17.00. Dec. thru spring holidays 10.00-17.00 (*last entry 1 hour before closing time)
Admission: Adults JPY1200, Middle and high school students JPY800, Children over 3 years old JPY600
Parking: for 383 vehicles
HP: http://besshi.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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