Oda (大田市) is a city in Shimane, Japan. As of April 2021, Oda had a population of approximately 32,500 people.
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.
The closest station to the mine area is Nima Station, served by trains from Izumoshi Station on the JR Sanin Line. There is a shuttle bus from Nima Station up to the Iwami Ginza Heritage Center 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 Sanin Line. Visitors most often take a train from Izumo (¥590), however direct trains can be taken from as far as Tottori to the east and Yamaguchi to the west.
Several buses go up the main street. There are also bicycles for rent. You can also walk, but it is a mostly uphill walk for about 2 km from the main starting point to the main mine. There are 3 rental car agencies for the most efficient and convenient way to get around.
Iwami Ginzan (石見銀山) 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, ☎ 085-489-0347. 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, ☎ 085-484-0750, . Tours at 10AM, 11AM, 12:30PM, and 1:30PM, lasting 2 hours - must assemble 30 min prior. No tours Fri-Sun from March-Nov. The largest and most impressive mine shaft in Iwami Ginzan, now open 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 at least 30 minutes before the tour starts, 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. ¥3700. edit
- Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Center (石見銀山世界遺產中心), 1597-3 Omori-cho, ☎ 085-489-0183 (fax: 085-489-0089), . 9AM-5PM, Closed last Tue of the month. 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. ¥310. edit
- Gohyaku Rakan (五百羅漢), 804 Omori-cho, ☎ 085-489-0005. 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 showing there was 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.
- Iwami Ginzan Museum (石見銀山資料館/代官所跡), 51-1Omoricho, Oda, ☎ 085-489-0846 (fax: 085-489-0159), . 9:30AM–5PM, Closed Wed. A private museum that was renovated and opened in 1976, rescuing it from destruction. You can walk through the former office under the direct control of the Shogunate centering on Iwami Ginzan. Today there are several historical items and relics that explain the mining activities. ¥550. edit
- Shimane Prefectural Nature Museum of Mt. Sanbe 'Sahimel' (島根県立三瓶自然館サヒメル), 1121-8 Sanbecho Tane, Oda, ☎ 085-486-0500 (fax: 085-486-0501), . 9:30AM–5PM, Closed Tue. A planetarium and natural history museum, mostly on astronomy. Fees vary. edit
- Daikanyama Zoo (代官山動物園), 1447-2 Odacho, Oda. 8AM–5PM. A small free zoo geared more for young kids, with monkees, deer, rabbits, parrots, raccoons, and goats. Free. edit
- Nima Sand Museum (仁摩サンドミュージアム), ☎ 085-488-3776 (fax: 085-488-3785), . 9AM–5PM, Closed Wed. 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 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. ¥730. 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
- Kunkendo, (In Omori Town), ☎ 085-489-0077. 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
- Sky Hotel Oda (スカイホテル 大田), 318 Odacho, Oda, ☎ 085-482-6525, . checkin: 16; checkout: 10. Simple but satisfying and clean accommodations with free parking. ¥5500~. edit
- Guesthouse Yukimi Inn (大田市ゲストハウス雪見院), 378-14 Oda, ☎ 085-486-7100, . checkin: 15; checkout: 10. A capsule and Japanese room hotel with shared kitchen, lounge, and free parking. ¥3300 capsule, ¥7700~ room. edit
For the latest info on events and sights, contact the Oda Tourism Association (大田市観光協会, Odashi Kankō Kyōkai) Tel. 085-488-9950.
- Izumo - Home to the Grand Shrine of Izumo (Izumo Taisha), one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan.
- Matsue Popular for its iconic castle, seaside views, and beautiful gardens.
- Yamaguchi City - A near rival capital to Kyoto in medieval times, with several temples and famous Sesshu gardens.
- Hagi - A delightful small castle town with some surreal temples and preserved samurai feudal streets.
- Yasugi - A town known for its sword making and home to Adachi Museum of Art and its famous gardens.
- Yonago - A neighboring city known as "little Osaka", famous for its food and bar scene.
- Mount Daisen - This extinct volcano towering over the city of Yonago is also known the Mount Fuji of West Japan. Great for hiking and skiing.
- Tsuwano - Castle town with impressive red roofs, Christian martyr site, and traditional atmosphere.
- Akiyoshidai Quasi-National Park - See Japan's biggest and longest limestone cave, as well as its huge karst plateau.
- Iwakuni - City near Miyajima in Hiroshima and with Japan's most beautiful old wooden bridge.