At the historic site of Ikuno Silver Mine in Asago City in Hyogo Prefecture, “Super-Duper Underground Idols” 「GINZAN BOYZ」, who work in possibly the deepest underground place in Japan, or maybe even in the world, have finally been excavated in Summer 2017!!
Even at this moment, all of the group’s 60 mannequin doll members are working really hard in the tunnels.
Asago City in Hyogo Prefecture has made a PR video that leaves an everlasting impression in your heart. There are still many people who do not know what kind of place Asago City in Hyogo prefecture is!
We wish to introduce Asago City to these people in an easy-to-understand manner♪
What kind of a village is Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture
Asago City is located in the northern part of Hyogo prefecture. It belongs to the Chugoku mountains, making it a very mountainous city. Asago City is is a city brimming with nature, being also surrounded by two prefectural nature parks. The city has a large daily temperature variation, and there are often heavy snowfalls during the winter. In the ancient times, Asago City was known as Asago District, and was located in the Tajima Province. It has the biggest ancient burial mounds in the Kinki region, and many grave goods have been excavated in the area. Ikuno Silver Mine in Kinki region has been one of the most prominent silver mines in Japan from Sengoku period to the present day. It is a prime example of a mine that has been controlled by such influential persons as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Access to the center of Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture
Approx. 2 hours 10 min. from Osaka Station to Wadayama Station by Fukuchiyama Line limited express train.
Approx. 2 hours from Kobe Station to Wadayama Station by Bantan Line limited express train.
Approx. 1 hour 50 min. from Kyoto Station to Wadayama Station by San’in Line limited express train.
3 Must-see Spots to Visit When Visiting Asago City
Ikuno Silver Mine
It is said that silver was found in Ikuno Silver Mine in 807. In 1542, the military commissioner of Tajima, Yamana Suketoyo started exploiting the mine. After the mine was opened, it was controlled by feudal lords, like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. It supported the Tokugawa shogunate financially by producing plenty of silver ore. In 1974, the mine was opened for tourists as a historic site, and has since become a very popular place, serving as the main tourist spot in Asago City.
Historic ruins of a mountain castle that have managed to survive completely through time, making them a rare appearance in Japan. The ruins are also called “the Lying Tiger Castle”, since they look like a tiger that is lying down. Sometimes it gets misty on clear days in late autumn, and the sea of clouds surrounding the castle make the ruins look like a castle floating in the sky, which has earned it the nicknames “the Sky Castle” and “Japan’s Machu Picchu”. Many people visit the area to see the magical view of the castle ruins.
Roadside Station Tajima no Mahoroba
A mingling place, located in the entrance of Tajima, with lush green nature and a historic feel to it. The theme of the design is based on the monuments that replicate the buildings of Kakitsubo site, as well as ancient government offices from Kofun period. It is a place where you can enjoy a meal, as well as buy souvenirs, so you should stop by when you are having a break.
3 Must-eat Dishes to Order When Visiting Asago City
Tajima beef is known as “Tajima’s Ittogai”, because people in the area have from long time ago raised only one cow at a time, treating it with great care, as if it was a member of the family. If you are going to visit Asago City you have to try Tajima Beef!! Tajima Beef can be eaten at many restaurants, so find a place you like and try it♪
Miso containing black soybeans
Low-sodium, additive free miso that is made from a mixture of Tajima’s black soybeans and domestic black soybeans. This miso made by the cheerful housewives of Tajima with all their heart is something you definitely want to try out.
Iwatsu Green Onion
“Iwatsu Green Onion” is sometimes called the legendary green onion because it is so rare. It is soft, savory, and full of flavor, and every part of it, from the green leaves to the white root, is edible. It goes well with dishes like yakiniku (grilled meat) and hot pot.
3 Must-get Souvenirs to Buy When Visiting Asago City
A local sake made by using the traditional techniques established by Tajima sake brewers in 1690. Everyone from sake lovers to people who don’t really like sake should be able to find a flavor that suits their taste buds. This local speciality sake is something you definitely want to get.
Miso sauce from Chasuri-an
A popular miso sauce made in Asago, which is a blend of soy sauce and miso. It is a sauce made with a secret recipe, that goes well with just about any dish, such as steak and tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet). Once you try it, you will get hooked to it.
Iwatsu Green Onion Chili Oil
You can pour this chili oil even to your rice or ramen, and it will make it delicious. This special product made in Asago can add a kick to various dishes, so everyone should have at least one jar of it on their kitchen shelf, just in case.
“Tajima-ben” – The dialect of Asago City
Tajima-ben is the dialect that is spoken in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture, in Tajima region, which consists of Asago City, Yabu City, Toyooka City, and Mikata District. Let’s take a look at some Tajima-ben vocabulary!
“Erai”… Being (physically) tired.
“Kaseru”…To lend something.
“Kareru”…To borrow something.
“Tarazu”…A moron or an idiot.
“Nagatan”…A kitchen knife.
All of this, and plenty more fascinating things are waiting for you to discover in Asago City in Hyogo Prefecture.
The next time you get some time off, why don’t you visit the charming town of Asago City!?
“Asago City Office”
translated by Samu Pekka Ojanen