• Day43

    Iwami-Ginzen Silver MIne

    October 9, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Heading north-east today, into one of those random isolated areas that we seem to end up in. Took a series of local trains and by lunchtime we'd arrived in a small two-horse town in the middle of nowhere. This was the location for the Iwami-Ginzen Silver Mine, Japan's most productive silver mine that operated between the late 16th century and the early 20th century. Got some brochures from a very friendly if puzzled lady at the train station, then caught the bus for about an hour out to the actual mine site.

    Had some lunch at a tasty recommended restaurant, then started exploring the town. It's a historic town and fairly well preserved, with a lot of the old buildings built off the silver wealth. Though probably the highlight was walking a couple of kilometres through the forest to find the old mine shafts. It's ticketed and well lit, but wandering through for a few hundred metres was pretty cool. In some places you could see chisel marks where the miners had done their work - remembering most of this was extracted by hand, not explosives.

    Back down to the town, we wandered around for a few hours looking at the buildings, a ruined refinery, shrines to pray for the miners' safety, and graveyards for those who didn't come home. Moderately interesting stuff, about on par with other mining sites we've been to. Hurriedly finished up before getting a 4pm bus all the way to Hiroshima. It would've been cheaper but longer to get a series of trains south to Hiroshima, but the thought of just sitting on a coach for a few hours was fairly appealing, so that's what we did.

    Arrived in Hiroshima after 7pm, where we found the hotel and grabbed some 7-11 food for dinner.
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