The term Hokkaido Heritage refers to tangible and intangible properties designated by the Hokkaido Heritage Concept Promotion Council as natural, cultural, industrial or other artifacts of Hokkaido legacy that should be passed on to future generations. A total of 52 properties had been designated as of June 2012.
Colliery-related Facilities and Life & Culture in the Sorachi Region
During its mining heyday, the Sorachi region supported Japan’s modernization as one of the nation’s largest coal mining areas, with 100 mines and a population of 830,000. Later, the proliferation of cheap imported coal and the Energy Revolution along with the resulting shift from coal to oil forced business to rationalize and led to successive mine closures. As a result, Sorachi’s coal mines dwindled and disappeared. Today, the region is still characterized by a variety of reminders from the era, ranging from production facilities to aspects of local lifestyles. The whole area might even be described as an open-air coal mining museum. Many aspects of coal-mining culture also remain, such as the Hokkai Bon Dance and the Akabira Fire Festival.
Sorachi Industrial Heritage and Sightseeing Website
Colliery-related facilities and aspects of the Sorachi lifestyle and culture were given Hokkaido Heritage designation in 2001. This website describes coal mine structures by genre, providing a taste of the thriving Sorachi mining activities that supported the Japanese economy.