Have you ever wondered where all the stones in the stone walls of castles come from? In particular, the amount of stone required for the vast walls of the former Edo Castle is mind boggling. It wasn't found laying around the castle grounds. In fact, the walls of Edo Castle were actually split up into sections that were each managed by a different daimyo who was responsible for procuring the stone and building the walls. One of the more popular places to acquire good stone was Izu. Stones for the walls were cut, shaped and shipped off to Edo for the massive building efforts. Today, there are several places along the coast of Izu where you can find remnants of these stone cutting quarries. The Izu Ookawa Stone Quarry is one of the most interesting to visit today even though it won't be found in any tourism materials. It's also not labelled on any maps and there are no signs guiding you to the location so it took some effort to identify the right place.
What makes the Ookawa site so interesting is that it looks like it was simply abandoned in the middle of being an active quarry. There are stones in all the different stages of cutting and shaping. Some have been just marked off, some just split, and some finished or nearly finished stones ready for transport. There are also tons (literally!) of stone chips and leavings scattered all around the site. It seems like everywhere you look, every stone you see has some marks from being a part of this process. Working in these quarries was also dangerous work. Local legend say that the stream which runs through the quarry once ran red with the blood of injuries to the workers.
There are a lot of pictures here, but they are roughly grouped into types of similar pictures so just click through them all to get a good understanding of the site.