A family tour of Omori

(A little family vacation)

Hi there! My name is Shun and today I gave a tour of Omori to Septia, Satriyo and their daughter Saphria. It was my first time giving a tour of Omori to a family, so I was trying to think of ways to keep it interesting for Saphria. Little did I know she seemed so used to taking tours and carefully listened to what I was saying and explaining. I hope that this tour was a fun memory of a little family trip to Omori with her parents!

We first started the tour at the Ginzan Park where I explained the history of Omori and the surrounding Iwami region as well. To the parents I explained that this area of Iwami ginzan used to produce about a 1/3 of the world’s silver. Since the world was on the silver standard in the past, that meant that this region was producing about a third of the world’s money at a certain point. Septia and her husband seemed impressed that such a small town could produce so much wealth in the past. To Saphria I explained to her many of these mountains with flat tops had castles with lots of samurai who would guard the silver from bandits and other enemy samurai. I wonder is Saphria was able to imagine the castles and the samurai that used to be all around this area.

We then headed to Gohyaku Rakan or the 500 Arhats at Rakanji Temple. At first the family was unsure what we were going to be looking at because all the arhat statues are actually hidden inside of the caves dug into the side of the mountain. Once we walked in, they all seemed pretty surprised by the amount of statues that were hiding inside. They all seemed to enjoy looking at the different faces on the statues. I was explaining to Saphria that these statues took 25years to carve, about 3 times as old as she is right now. We then looked around trying to find statues that looked like ourselves. I only sometimes stop by this location, but I thought it would be a good experience for Saphria to see something new.

We then walked to the Gungendo store where we looked at the art exhibit on the second floor of the store. Since none of us were art experts we had fun trying to guess what the statues looked like and looking at some of the prices of the statues. Septia seemed to like the statue that was made from iron which looked like to people leaning on each other. She was impressed that such smooth curves could be made from iron and the color and texture of the material as well. Sophria and I played a little game of trying to find the most expensive piece of art in the room. It was 350000 yen!

We then stopped by the Candle Light House, where we went to the back to look at the well and the well pump that was recently attached to it. When you push the handle up and pull it down, water is pumped up from the well. Septia found the well nostalgic because she had one in her house when she was in elementary school. She seemed excited to try out the pump and have Sophria try it out as well. After pumping the well for a while for that perfect picture from her mother, Sophria seemed a little winded from the ordeal.

One of our last stops was at the Kawashima Residence where we looked at how people used to live life in these houses a couple hundred years ago. This residence has a little hidden staircase which leads up to this room where there is a samurai armor displayed for visitors to see. Satriyo was visibly shaken when he saw the armor to a point that I was a little worried if he saw a ghost or something. He was fine, but he was excited to see the whole set with the armor and weapons because he always wanted to see this. He has seen these items in movies but never in person and was happy that he got a chance to see it so up close.

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