Welcome to our web-site!!
We are the volunteer guide group of "Iwami Ginzan" (Iwami silver mine ruins) , which has been recently registered as UNESCO World Heritage.
About IWAMI GINZAN
“Iwami Ginzan”is located in Omori town, Ohda city, Shimane prefecture. Since Jutei Kamiya, merchant from Hakata(Kyusyu), started to develop the mine in 1526, large quantities of silver had been mined at Iwami.
In the early 17th century Japan produced about one-third of the world silver production and a large proportion of that came from Iwami. (The annual silver production at Iwami was estimated to be about 38 tons then)
Iwami silver was exported oversea and supported the expansion of the trade among Asian countries (such as China and Korea) and European countries(such as Spain and Portugal). There are many evidences in the old map and literature made in the foreign countries that Iwami silver mine was well-known in Europe and silver was much used for the international trade.
Nowadays, “Iwami Ginzan” is consisted of some parts; Omori area(There remain the residences of local magistrates and merchants, temples and shrines, and many other monuments), Ginzan area(ruins of mine shafts, refinery, castles where the local feudal loads controlled the mine, and many other monuments) and surrounding area(“Silver roads” extended to ports and the other city, ports used for the transport of Iwami silver) .
Walk, look around and find out how vivacious the centuries still are in this old town at the edge of Eurasian continent!! You can breathe the unique mixture of medieval flair and the nature-rich environment.