L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

28 June 2007 Blog Home : June 2007 : Permalink

Iwami Ginzan UNESCO Site

P5250189Unesco announced that it had chosen some new sites as "World Heritage Locations". This includes Iwami Ginzan (unesco site), an ex-silver mine not very far from where my in-laws live in Japan. On the right is a Flickr set of the site which is, in my biased opinion, an undiscovered treasure of Japan. Around 1600AD Iwami Ginzan was responsible for between a quarter and a thrid of world silver output and was a town of some 100,000 people. The picture shows that it has declined a bit since then as it is part of a place called Ishigane SenGen (1000 houses of ishigane) which was allegedly so densely built up that you could stay dry in the pouring rain because the roofs all overhung the streets.

If you want to visit I would recommend staying in the nearby port of Yunotsu (which is BTW a part of the heritage site) and visiting that as well as the mine itself. It is possible to hike along the ancient highway between the two but I have never done it and cannot say how easy it is.