In this article, I am going to talk about one of our days in the San’in region. We spend a wonderful time in the area and if you would like to know about our adventures the other day, please refer to the following article, URL:https://sanin-japan.com/en/travel-memories/adventures-of-three-guys-in-sanin
Our destination was the town of Omori and Iwami Ginzan - a historic silver mine in the mountains just next to the town. Koki, our local guide, took us there in 1,5 hours while talking about his life in Shimane. When we arrived, another local guide – Shun met us near a bicycle rental shop. It was a great idea to rent electric bicycles as we wanted to see everything around this hilly area.
Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. It one of the least popular UNESCO Heritage sites in Japan and it’s a shame. This place undoubtingly has its specific atmosphere and made a huge impact on Japanese culture and society. It was the largest silver mine in Japanese history that was active for almost four hundred years until I closed in 1923. Currently, only 400 people live in Omori, but at the peak of its development, the town hosted around 200,000 residents.
Nakamura san who is selling Lindera umbellata aromatic sticks by the mine.
Shun is from the States and moved to Omori about one year ago. We were lucky to meet such a knowledgeable and professional Tomodachi guide like him. He sincerely contributes to the preservation of the site and to its popularization among foreign tourists. I was impressed by how he could get along well with the local community and touches upon almost all the aspects of its everyday life. The community in Omori is on 100% self-sustainable, as their idea of living never relied on tourists, but on the gifts of nature and each member of this community. This makes the site even more attractive to discover. When you walk around the mines and adore the townscape you will notice how they preserve the appearance and the atmosphere of the area in every detail. I highly recommend you put Iwami Ginzan on your bucket list when you visit San’in if you would like to embrace yourself into an authentic Japanese atmosphere and go back in time avoiding crowds of tourists. In this article Shun tells much more about Iwami Ginzan and sustainable lifestyle of Omori: https://sanin-japan.com/featured/lifestyleheritage?fbclid=IwAR11w_fKpHkdfoRE2vlM5sReBFUjVr46XGq_ipmdqQBSheA6pIJEcXSEMAA
I am sure that Shun will be happy to introduce you to his passion. So, when you decide to visit San’in and Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape don’t hesitate to contact him. You will never forget this unique area and the Tomodachi guides will make everything to introduce you undiscovered Japan!
Please take a look at Shun’s website if you would like to know more about the local community and the area. And definitely try the craft beer he makes with the vegetables that grow right there in Omori! (https://www.shunbar.com/)
Overall, my friends and I genuinely enjoyed our trip to San’in. Tomodachi guides organized one of our best experiences in Japan. Even within two days, we could see much more than we would have expected to see by ourselves. This journey was fulfilling, especially in terms of meeting local people, understanding their unique lifestyle, and experiencing their sincere hospitality. If you still looking for the next destination in Japan, even being an experienced traveler, choose San’in. Visiting this region is an excellent way to learn about Japan, feel the strong spirit of the local community, and an ideal alternative to the most popular regions around the country.