Iwami Ginzan is Japan's most prominent mine site, located in Omori-cho, Ota-shi, Shimane Prefecture. In 2007, it was registered as a World Heritage Site for the first time in Asia as Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape. In Iwami Ginzan, there are mine tunnels called “Mabu”, and mansions, temples and shrines where you can see what it was like in the days of that era.
About Iwami Ginzan
Iwami Ginzan is a historic mine that has been mined for around 400 years since it was discovered in 1526. in the height of its prosperity, it produced 1/3 of the world's silver. Additionally, the silver produced was high quality and was exported to many countries overseas such as Southeast Asia and Europe
Highlights of Iwami Ginzan
Iwami Ginzan is roughly divided into the Daikansho (Magistrateﾕs Office) zone, the Samurai zone, and the Ginzan zone. It is more than 6 kilometers round trip if you go round all of the zones, but since there are highlights in each zone, we would like you to visit all of them.
The Daikansho Zone where ruins and cultural assets related to the Daikansho are gathered
Daikansho Zone is the area closest to the entrance of Iwami Ginzan. Centred around the ruins of the Daikansho in the 1600s and 1800s, houses, temples and shrines with connections to the Daikansho are located here. Among them, the Omori Daikansho ruins (the current Iwami Ginzan Museum), the front gate, Nagayamon gate, and the kumagai family residence, where you can learn about the lives of merchants in the 1800s, are a must-see.
The Samurai Residence Zone, where the traditional Townscape of Iwami Ginzan
The Samurai Residence zone is the central area of Iwami Ginzan. It is characterized by a mix of samurai residences where the officials lived and merchant houses where merchants lived. Houses with magnificent gates are located on both ends of the road, creating an elegant view. There are also lots of other observation points such as Rakanji Temple Goyakurakan and Eisenji Temple.
Ginzan Zone, where the Mine and Silver Refinery Ruins are located
The Ginzan Zone is the area that heads for Ryugenji Mabu, the largest highlight of Iwami Ginzan. There are spots where you can feel atmosphere of the area as a mine town. First, enjoy the refineries such as the Shimizudani Refinery Ruins and the Shimogawara Smelter Ruins, and the Sahimeyama Shrine.
Then, drop by Ryugenji Mabu. Ryugenji Mabu is the only mine that is always open to the public. The wall has vivid traces of fleas and a magnificent view spreads out before you.
Unique Experience Events Relating to Silver
The Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Centre holds an experience class where you can learn how to make a silver coin called Chogin every Wednesday and Thursday. The Chogin shape can be made from low melting point alloy or plastic board and can be made into key holders and straps. In addition, it is possible to make a premium Chogin that mimics the old silver coin “Otoriosame Chogin”. There is another event where you can search for silver in sand, so please check it out!
Opening Hours and Admission Fee at Iwami Ginzan
The opening hours of Iwami Ginzan vary depending on the facility, but are generally around 9:00 to 17:00. For example, the Iwami Ginzan Ryugenji Mabu / Iwami Ginzan Museum is from 9:00 - 17:00, and the kumagai Family Residence is from 9:30 〜 17:00.
Also, the admission fee varies from facility to facility. Ryugenji Mabu is 410 yen for one adult, Iwami Ginzan Museum is 500 yen for one adult, and the kumagai Family Residence is 500 yen for one adult. (Information accurate as of September 2019)
How to Get to Iwami Ginzan
If you go to Iwami Ginzan, head for JR Odashi station from the main station of each city. From JR Odashi Station, take the Iwami Kotsu route bus, and you will reach the Daikansho Zone entrance “Omori Daikansho Ato” bus stop in about 30 minutes. In addition, if you wish to drop by the silver mine zone, which is the main sightseeing spot of Iwami Ginzan, you should get off at the World Heritage Centre bus stop.
- Spot name: Iwami Ginzan
- Street address: 1597-3 Omorimachi, Ota, Shimane 694-0305
- Access: Ota-shi station → [Iwami Kotsu Bus] about 30 minutes → Omori Daikansho ruins bus stop ...Right by the bus stop on foot
- Language：English, Chinese, Korean
- Ticket Purchase：At acceptance
- Credit cards：No credit cards accepted