A Guinness World Record:
the world’s biggest gold bar

#06
Technical capabilities

Many people are not aware that there were in fact many gold mines in Japan. Toi gold mine in Shizuoka Prefecture had its own golden ages, first during the Edo Period (1603-1868), and a second period in the 20th century.  Only the gold mine on Sado Island, part of Niigata Prefecture in the Sea of Japan, was larger. Toi’s total estimated output included 40 tons of gold and 400 tons of silver. In 1965, though, the resources were finally exhausted and the mine was closed. It was then converted into a tourist attraction, with the mining work of the Edo Period now demonstrated by life-size manikins “toiling” in the mine shafts. At the Toi Gold Museum next to the gold mine, a 250-kilogram pure gold bar—certified by Guinness as the world’s largest—is on display, and can even be touched by visitors (who knows? It might improve your fortune).

To illustrate how much gold that is, 250 kilograms of gold would create enough gold leaf to cover 70,000 tatami mats (or 113,400 square meters ); if spun into gold wire, it could circle the Earth 18 times. Initially the bar was worth about ¥400 million, but with the soaring price of gold the value is now some ¥1.8 billion (the record so far was ¥1.942 billion, set on August 7, 2020). The gold mine also has a facility where visitors can experience panning for gold—popular for both adults and children. Any gold dust collected can be taken home as a souvenir. There is a restaurant available, as well as shops selling specialty goods and souvenirs. Learn about the history of gold mining, and have an enjoyable time at the Toi Gold Mine!

Related link: Nishiizu Toi Gold Mine