The story of the UNESCO World Heritage Site unfolded

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Museum

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, shimane prefecture


This museum tells the story of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The closing of the mine in 1922 marked the end of nearly 400 years of leading production.

The mine is significant for two main reasons. Firstly, its output during the 16th century placed it near the top of world production and it is important to remember that in those days, silver was a major form of currency. Secondly, the site today is considered to be an ecological gem tucked away in the mountain forest.

The towns near the mine inspire a sense of old Japan nostalgia as civilization brushes up against a wondrous natural landscape. It is possible to enter some of the old mineshafts and feel what it must have been like to toil away in an attempt to bring the silver to the surface. You can find the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Museum in one such town. Omori-cho in present day Oda City greatly benefited from the wealth brought by the mine.

Visitors to the region today can enjoy well-appointed facilities designed to showcase the history of the mine and show off the remarkably preserved buildings that line the old streets.

After a full day at the museum, exploring the mine shafts and strolling through the town, have a relaxing bath at the Yunotsu Hot Springs. Also, take advantage of the cafes and shops in the town where you can have delicious snacks and buy a wide range of silver accessories.

Access: Take the Super Yakumo Express train from JR Okayama Station to JR Izumo Station. Take the Sannin Line from JR Izumo Station to JR Oda-shi Station. Take the bus to Omori Daikansho Ato bus stop. The Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Museum is about a  1 minute walk from the bus stop.


About the Area

Shimane Prefecture can be understood best by making a distinction between its eastern and western halves. The east is made up of the cities and towns near and around Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi.

The major municipalities include the cities of Yasugi, Matsue and Izumo. An area of exception that should also be in this category is the Oki Island Archipelago, which is 75-85 kilometers off the coast. The eastern region of Shimane has the largest population and is home to the prefectural capital, Matsue City.

Western Shimane Prefecture or more precisely the southwest, includes the cities of Masuda and Hamada as well as the Tsuwano Town on the border with Yamaguchi Prefecture. The western half of Shimane is characterized by its natural beauty from the hinterland to the coast.

The cultural bond that unites the entire prefecture can be found in the shared reverence for the history, myths and legends of the land. One example is the Kagura dance for the gods that is performed throughout Shimane in several variations.



Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee