Omama Bank was founded in 1883 as the first commercial bank in Gunma. Being one of the few remaining western-style buildings in Gunma, the museum has been designated an important cultural asset by the City of Midori.
Displayed on the 2nd floor of Omama Museum are articles from the Jomon Period (145BC-10BC) through to early modern period that illustrate the history of the area. In Midori, there are many ancient remains that date back to the Old Stone Age. Excavated earthenware and clay figures are on display. A replica of Takatsudo Castle, a mountain castle built on a cliff in the civil war period (1467-1573), is also displayed. The castle is the set of a 3D movie called, "Story of Satomi Brothers", which is also shown in the museum.
Using the unique features of the ancient vault, articles of daily living, both from farms and merchants, and materials related to the Ashio Railway are exhibited in the mezzanine. Also showcased here is the reproduction of a merchant in the early Showa Period (1920's). Omama flourished by shipping supplies to the Ashio Copper Mine and trading goods between remote areas and the city. Roads in Omama Town were used to transport copper from the Ashio Copper Mine. Being the hub of inland trade, the markets held here were the largest in the Kanto region at the time. Copper production at Ashio peaked in the Edo Period (1603-1867).
Displayed on the 1st floor is a landscape that includes a stalactite cave, a large alluvial fan, and living creatures in the rich nature of Midori City. There is a well in the alluvial fan where the groundwater level is very low, so people had a hard time collecting water here. You can imagine life in ancient times from the sound of a drop of water in the replicated well. Before the canals were built, people had to fight fires on a daily basis. In 1895, there was a major fire in Omama. There was not enough water, so firefighters used the shoyu, or soy sauce, that was stocked in a soy sauce factory.
The one-millimeter-long mysterious microfossil Conodont was discovered in 1958 by a researcher in Omama Town. In recent years, the fossil was identified as a tooth of primitive fish of some sort and attracted the attention of researchers who were trying to solve the mystery of the evolution of vertebrate animals like dinosaurs and human beings. Midori is known as the home of Conodont research. The museum displays various articles related to dinosaurs for those who are interested in ancient living creatures and fossils. The broad expanse of hilly area in Midori with Mt. Akagi in its background, as well as its rich nature and living creatures are displayed in the form of a 3D diorama.
Location: 1030 Omama, Omama-cho, Midori MAP
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Doors close at 16:30)
Closed on Mondays (Tuesday, if a Monday falls on a holiday) & Dec. 28-Jan. 4
Please call for unscheduled holidays before your visit.
Admission: JPY200 for adults, JPY50 for elementary & junior high school students, JPY30 for group of 20 people or more
Midori City Tourist Guidebook in English