72 Hours Route
2 nights, 3 days
Historic Towns, Iwami Kagura and the Iwami Silver Mine
This 3-day sample route takes you through the Iwami area of Shimane Prefecture. Start from the beautiful old streets of Omori and explore the Iwami Ginzan silver mine. Have a healing bath in the ancient hot springs of Yunotsu. Spectate a performance of Iwami Kagura, and stroll through the historical castle town of Tsuwano.
- 12:15 PM
- Arrival at Hagi-Iwami Airport
- 04:30 PM
- Stroll through Omori Town
- 07:00 PM
- Omori/Iwami Ginzan area
- Stay at an old-style lodging
- 09:00 AM
- Iwami Ginzan
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch in Omori Town
- 03:00 PM
- Walk through a charming hot spring town with a long history
- 04:00 PM
- Kagura mask painting Experience
- 06:00 PM
- Try Yunotsu's ancient hot springs
- 08:00 PM
- Tatsu no Gozen Shrine
- 10:00 AM
- 12:00 PM
- Lunch in Tsuwano
- 02:00 PM
- Taikodani Inari Shrine
- 05:45 PM
- Departure from Hagi-Iwami Airport
1Kumagai Family Residence
Located on Omori Street near the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine ruins, the Kumagai Residence is an important historic heritage. It used to belong to a wealthy merchant family that made their fortune through silver trade. The reconstructed house building is open to visitors, who can wander freely through the many rooms. The house features displays of objects that once belonged to the family, like kitchenware and kimono. There are more than 20 rooms including a grand kitchen, and five storehouses.
2Historic Towns, Iwami Kagura and the Iwami Silver Mine
The quaint hot spring town of Yunotsu used to flourish as a port town and played an important role in silver trade. Now, old-fashioned buildings still line the quiet streets and visitors come here to soak in the soothing hot springs. Yunotsu also offers a great background for enjoying Iwami Kagura. Tatsu no Gozen, a Shrine overlooked by a rock formation that looks like a dragon's head, hosts Kagura performances every Saturday.
Walk the streets of Omori town and immerse yourself in the past while admiring the beautiful traditional houses. Lovingly restored, ancient samurai residences are now stylish shops, quaint cafés or homely lodgings. Along the main road you will find the Kumagai family residence, once home to a powerful merchant family. Omori town is an ideal place to stop at when visiting the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine ruins and other related historical sites.
4Kagura mask painting Experience
Visit the workshop of a Kagura mask craftsman and learn how to paint your own! Located near Yunotsu Station, the Kobayashi workshop offers a unique experience. Surrounded by rows and rows of painstakingly decorated masks, you get to try to paint your own under the directions of a real craftsman. For those who are interested in the Kagura dance tradition, this experience will give you a deeper understanding of this ancient performance.
This bright red, beautiful shrine on top of a hill boasts expansive grounds. Coming from Tonomachi Street, the picturesque road that gives Tsuwano city its nickname of “Little Kyoto”, you'll find yourself at the base of a mountain. Climb the stairs under a tunnel of vermillion torii gates. On the way, you can buy a set of fried tofu and a candle to place in front of the shrine as an offer for your prayers.
Ride a chairlift up a mountain and see the ruins of an ancient Japanese castle. Built in the late 12th century, the castle stood for hundreds of years before being struck by lightning and finally being decommissioned in 1870. The ruins stand 200 meters high above the town, revealing a view that was once only enjoyed by powerful feudal lords. After the chairlift ride it's a 15-20 minute walk to the castle ruins.
The Iwami Ginzan/Omori area can be reached in 2–3 hours by bus and train from the Iwami Airport.
From the Omori Bus Stop you can get to Yunotsu in under 1 hour by bus. Trains are also available if you change at Odashi or Nima.
Tsuwano Station can be reached in 2–3 hours from Yunotsu Station by train. From Tsuwano Station, take a train to Masuda and then a bus to the Iwami Airport (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes total).
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