Oya history museum in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture is located at the former quarry of Oya stone. Probably the most popular tourist attraction in Utsunomiya. Oya stone is named after name of the district in Utsunomiya, Oya which is located approximately 7 km north west from downtown Utsunomiya. Oya history museum is an ideal place in case you are looking somewhere else around Nikko to visit.
There were around 120 Oya stone quarries in 1960s but currently just 12 quarries are in operation. The reserves of Oya stone are 600 million tons.Annual production is 20000 tons. Oya stone is relatively light and soft, therefore easy toprocess. Then, it is advanced in refractory. The former quarry is 140 m x 150 m, 20000 m2. It is large as same as a baseball stadium. This huge underground area was made between 1919 and 1986.
It was first used as the secret underground warehouse for Japanese Imperial army in 1943. Nakajima Aircraft started to use this former quarry as the secret underground factory. The remarkable airplanes built by Nakajima Aircraft are Ki-43 Hayabusa; Oscar and Nakajima B5N; Kate.
Oya hirstory museum attracts thousands of visitors per day but the museum is not just a former quarry. It is used for wedding ceremony, concerts, art exhibitions and theaters. The museum was the location for numerous movies, TV dramas and music videos.