The history of the city is inextricably linked to that of its coal mines. The affluent lives of local residents today are an extension of this history.
Vertical shaft of the former Sumitomo Akabira Coal Mine
The shaft tower remains an Akabira landmark even today. Completed in 1963, It was used to send miners 650 meters below the surface and pull up excavated coal, and cost around two billion yen to construct.
Mountain of Coal Mine Debris
Waste rock and other refuse from mines are collectively referred to as debris. Over the years, this material was piled up using trolleys to form a mountain of debris that became a symbol of this mining city and is now used as one of the venues for the local Fire Festival.
Coal Mine Archive（Sumitomo Akabira Elementary School）: exhibition of coal mining equipment and other materials from the Sumitomo Akabira Coal Mine
Sumitomo Akabira Elementary School is located in the town’s Sumitomo District, which once thrived on coal mining. Its vacant classrooms house and display a wide range of coal mining equipment and cultural materials donated by Sumitomo Akabira Coal Mine’s operator when the mine was closed.
Former Hokutan Akama Coal Mine Washery
The washery of the former Hokutan (Hokkaido Colliery & Steamship Co., Ltd.) Akama Coal Mine was built in 1941 behind the present Akabira Station, where the entrance to the Mountain of Coal Mine Debris stairway is located. The three loaders (with two conveyor-belt ramps) and the raw-coal storage area to the left of the mountaineering trail and the washery to its right serve as a reminder of the techniques used in those days.