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Oda (大田市) is a city in Shimane, Japan.


Omori Town (near Iwami Town) is a fantastic old silver mining town, which accounted for about 1/3 of the world's silver production at its peak. Omori and the surrounding area had hundreds of silver mines of various sizes.

Get in[edit]

The closest station to the mine area is Nima, served by trains from Izumoshi on the San-in Line. There is a shuttle bus from Nima station up to the Iwami Ginza Heritage Centre outside Omori, and taxis for about ¥4000. Alternatively there are bus services from Oda city to Omori. Odashi is accessible via Odashi Station along the San-in Line. Visitors most often take a train from from Izumo (¥570), however direct trains can be taken from as far as Tottori to the east and Yamaguchi to the west.

Get around[edit]

Several buses go up the main street. There are also bicycles for rent. I think you pay the rental fee at the gas station across the street. You can also walk, but it is a mostly uphill walk for about 2 km from the main starting point to the main mine.

See[edit][add listing]

Iwami Ginzan[edit]

Iwami Ginzan (石見銀山) [1] was one of the world's largest silver mines during the 16th and 17th centuries. At this time, one third of the world's silver came out of Japan, and Iwami Ginzan produced much of that silver, although many other mines existed. It was officially registered as a World Heritage Site in June 2007 under the name Iwami Ginzan Silver Mines and its Cultural Landscape, encompassing the mines, Omori Town, and Yunotsu.

  • Ryugenji Mabu Mine Shaft (龍源寺間步), Omori-cho, +81 0854-89-0347. 9AM-5PM, to 4PM winter. The only mine shaft that visitors can tour on their own without a tour, although guides are available. This covers only a fraction of the tunnels that were dug around here, but a walk through the shaft is impressive nonetheless. ¥400.  edit
  • Okubo Mabu Mine Shaft (大久保間步), Omori-cho, +81 0854-84-0750. Tours begin at 9:30AM, 10:30AM, 12:15PM, and 1:15PM, lasting 2 1/2 hours. No tours F-Su from March-Nov. The largest and most impressive mine shaft in Iwami Ginzan, only recently opened to the public for guided tours. Reservations are not necessary but are recommended, as a limited number are offered per week. Meet at the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center, where a bus will take you to the mines. Despite the time, effort, and money required, it's well worthwhile for a full appreciation of Iwami Ginzan. ¥3800.  edit
  • Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center (石見銀山世界遺產中心), 1597-3 Omori-cho, +81 0854-89-0183. 9AM-5PM. Typically the first stop visitors make when visiting the mines. This museum displays the history of the mines through artifacts, recreated scenes, and interactive computers. It's a nice place to prepare for everything you are about to see. ¥500.  edit
  • Gohyaku-Rakan (五百羅漢), 804 Omori-cho, +81 0854-89-0005. 9AM-5PM. An interesting temple cut into the side of the hill, housing 500 carved Boddhisatva statues. It's located alongside the road leading to the World Heritage Center. ¥500.  edit

Take a beautiful walk down the old single-street town up the hill on the way to the main mine - several old merchants homes / samurai homes and other buildings are restored. Beautiful houses. Tremendous wealth here at one time. There are several open houses along the way that you can pay to enter. You can also buy a pass that gives you admission to all of the open houses.

  • Old Court House. Now a public hall. Has a 3D display of the geography around. Very interesting. Also a recreated scene of some miscreant receiving his sentence... must've been quite a bit of crime during the silver rush.... Easy to imagine this place in the boom years - like some scene from a Western, with swordsmen instead of gunslingers.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Nima Sand Museum. If you get to the Iwami Ginzan mines via Nima Station, you may notice a striking glass pyramid to the south of the town. The Sand Museum,¥300, is a 10 minute walk from Nima Station. The building is cool and has some massive hourglasses and other sand related displays, but sand is a dry subject. There is little else to do in Nima.  edit
  • Kotogahama singing sands. If you really like sand, take a 10 minute rail journey south from Nima to Maji-Tomaure station and visit the famous singing sands beach of Kotogahama, pretty and little used. Its properties are due to the sand structure, and preserved by the purity of the seawater. It squeaks as you walk, and if you decide to have a little bask, you can while away the time by pushing the sand around to make noises. The Sand Museum sells a toy comprising pestle and mortar plus sand which can generate a surprising range of sounds. Do not expect seaside services here.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Kunkendo, (In Omori Town.), +81 0854-89-0077. Th-Tu 10AM-6PM. A very coolly stylish cafe and design gallery featuring handcrafted glassware, pottery, clothing, and decor.  edit
  • Bura House, Omori Town. on the main street is a charming store in an old house, offering some really attractive clothes and souvenirs. It includes a pleasant café overlooking the central courtyard, in which to treat yourself for shopping fatigue.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Hotels are scarce in the immediate Iwami Ginzan area. Prior to being named a World Heritage site, not many people outside of Shimane knew about it, so the infrastructure for dealing with lots of tourists is just now being developed.

Get out[edit]

By train, you can take a direct line to the following destinations:

Routes through Oda
ShimonosekiGotsu  W noframe E  IzumoMatsue

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