Karst landscape of Akiyoshidai
Location of Mine in Yamaguchi Prefecture
|• Mayor||Akira Nishioka (since April 2016)|
|• Total||472.71 km2 (182.51 sq mi)|
|Population (May 1, 2016)|
|• Density||54.70/km2 (141.7/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Live oak|
|• Flower||Cherry blossom|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City hall address||326-1 Higashi-bun, Ōmine-chō, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture (山口県美祢市大嶺町東分326番１号)
The city was founded on March 31, 1954 by a merger of municipalities that departed from Mine District (Mine-gun). The name means "mine city" and stems from the mining activities at the Yamato mine (previously Ofuku mine) during the 20th century.
- Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park, which includes the Akiyoshidai (秋吉台 Akiyoshi plateau) and Japan’s longest cave, the Akiyoshido (秋芳洞), the latter of which is designated a Special Natural Monument. Akiyoshidai is served by a natural history museum, visitor center, rest house, youth hostel and park headquarters building, and is traversed by a scenic roadway and several walking trails. Events include a fireworks festival in July, a “Karst Walk” in November, and an annual burning off of dry grasses in February called “Yamayaki”.
- Akiyoshido, Akiyoshido (秋芳洞). Towards the southern end of Akiyoshidai is the Akiyoshido cave, named by Emperor Hirohito on May 30, 1926 when he was still crown prince. This spacious cave is up to 100 meters wide and has 8.79 kilometers of passages, making it the longest in Japan and one of the longest in Asia. At the present time an approximately one-kilometer-long section of the cave is open to the public as a sightseeing course, with a walkway and bridge system, entering at the cave's lowest point and exiting via an artificial elevator. This portion of the cave is also well decorated with a variety of large and colorful speleothems.
The plateau consists of uplifted reef limestones of Paleozoic age, which were thickened by overfolding during the Akiyoshidai orogenic movement. Subsequent erosion has created an undulating karst landscape dimpled with many dolines and countless limestone pinnacles up to two meters in height. Beneath the surface lie hundreds of caves, a few of them quite significant geologically.
Numerous fossils of Pleistocene age have been found in these caves, including those of the Japanese rhinoceros, Stegodont elephant, Naumann elephant, Young tiger, and numerous other animals from the last interglacial period.
The area around Akiyoshidai was once heavily forested about 500,000 years ago. In the Jōmon period, the area served as a hunting ground and the bottoms of sinkholes as vegetable fields. Numerous Paleolithic artifacts have been recovered. As farming began in Japan, the local people eventually replaced the forested landscape with Japanese pampas grass for feeding their animals and thatching houses. Repeated cycles of burning the grass have kept trees from growing back since.
- West Japan Railway Company(JR Nishi Nihon) stations
- Mine Interchange
- Mine-nishi Interchange
Notable people from Mine
- Media related to Mine, Yamaguchi at Wikimedia Commons
- Mine City official website (in Japanese)
- Yamaguchi Prefecture official website (in English)