Oya Museum, like a huge underground shrine

28LabPublished: November 13, 2017Updated: November 14, 2017
Published: November 13, 2017Updated: November 14, 2017

Egyptian pyramids. Indiana Jones. Even an underground shrine. Did you know that there is a place that people describe like this in Japan?

About a 30 minute bus ride from the center of Tochigi prefecture’s Utsunomiya city lies Oya Museum, a place where you can learn about Oya stones, which are known for being used by the American architect, Frank Loyd Wright, when he designed the old imperial hotel. The highlight of the museum is the remains of an around 20,000 square meter (140m x 150m) mine 30 meters underground, in which you can fit an entire baseball field.

In this unique space, littered with machines and where the walls are lined with markings left by mining equipment, BMW test drive events and Omega watch presentations have been held. An X Japan promotion video was filmed and a live Enya performance was televised there as well. Movies and television dramas have also been filmed there, and many weddings are held every year in an area that is not open to the public currently.

Since April of 2013 people have been allowed to take pictures inside, and information about it is spreading on social networking sites. In 2016, 340,000 people came to visit the museum.

Although it’s a popular place to bring the family or go with a date, the average temperature is around 8 degrees Celsius, so don’t forget a jacket if you go.

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