For the fact of the matter is that I wouldn't have known of the existence of this historically important silver mine and its distinctive cultural landscape -- which includes a small town with roots back into the Edo period (Omori) where, unusually, samurai, merchants and craftsmen (and their families) would live on the same street rather than in separate neighborhoods -- if not for it having been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007; this despite this one mining area being said to have supplied one third of the world's silver in the 16th century.
Beginning from 1526, silver was extracted at Iwami Ginzan for close to 400 years. Despite all this mining taking place and such as mountain fortresses to protect the silver as well as mining towns being built in the area, today it is largely wooded -- thanks to forestry management that, in the past, ensured a steady supply of the vast amount of timber used for fuel when refining the silver and such.
While no visit to this site could possibly be considered complete without going down a mine shaft, it's also very much part of the experience to make the hike through the woods to one of the two mine shafts that are open to the public -- and also to check out the other human-created sections of what feels these days like a most bucolic area...
On my woodland trek, I expected to have my third
-- especially after seeing signs like that pictured above! :O
The Shimizudani Refinery Ruins got me thinking
Inside the Ryugenji Mabu Mine Shaft which dates back to 1715
Dedicated to Kanayamahiko-no-mikoto, the god of metal refining,
Sahimeyama-jinja is one of Japan's largest mountain shrines
-- and completely (and eerily) deserted when I visited!
The town of Omori's so picturesque it can look like
it's part of a historical theme park rather than a place
where people still live and work!
Eisen-ji's one of a number of Buddhist temples and
Shinto shrines to be found in Omori (and yes, there also
are many places where flowers grow within the town)
It's hardly the largest or most historic building in Omori but I like
how this house looks, with its pretty lace curtains and unpainted wood
Puppet Ponyo by one of the wooden bridges to be found
in this town that comes across as an attractive place
to live in, bar for its distance from other human settlements! ;b